"Each department is different - even with Cancer"

About: Derriford Hospital

I was diagnosed with a stage 2 tumour in the breast in Oct 2015 and had a Lumpectomy in the Nov 2015. It was then decided to go back in and remove the axillary lymph nodes and fortunately the cancer hadn't spread.

I had three weeks of radiotherapy as a precaution. There were many administrative hiccups along the way viz. letters of appointment never arrived.

I work full time so proof to my employer of an appointment is relevant.

I was sent a bill (yes - a blank invoice!) for the radiotherapy!

I had to get my MP involved in that one as needless to say, it was all a mistake.

The topic of whether to give me chemotherapy varied from doctor or doctor.

All had a different opinion.

I was told by one consultant just after the operation that my chances of survival were 84% with no follow up treatment.

I was impressed with that.

However, depending on who you saw, the 'chemo' offer kept coming up once doctor said: 'You can give it a go and see how you get on.'

I thought I was hearing things.

That is like signing up for a 6 week course of Russian roulette knowing that the side effects would get you if the bullet didn't. It seemed a liberal way to treat the serious subject of chemo.

I refused the chemotherapy and would still refuse it having attended funerals of people diagnosed with cancer after me, who were far worse on the chemo than without it.

There are many mixed messages in Derriford.

I would advise anyone to examine very carefully all treatment options offered in Oncology.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Claire Jukes, Patient Experience Support, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

picture of Claire Jukes

I was very concerned to read about your experiences with our cancer services you mentioned above. As the Patient Opinion website is anonymous, I would be really grateful if you could email me directly at claire.jukes@nhs.net so that I can look into the issues further for you.

With best wishes

Claire Jukes

Patient Experience Support Manager

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