I'm new here, possibility of cancer & how to make my gp take me seriously?

Hi, 18 year old girl here,

For the last eight months I've had intense pain in the lower right hand side of my abdomen, heavy bleeding in between my periods for up to about 6 weeks at a time.

I have also lost 13kgs (3 since September 24th), bloating, and pain when masturbating (still a virgin).

When this first started my doctor told me some things that it could be: ruptured cyst etc, and we started tests. I had an ultrasound but they were unable to see anything in the image and wouldn't do a transvaginal ultrasound to get a clearer image because I'm a virgin.

After a while, my gp just stopped sending me for more tests. At this point, I'd been bleeding 3 out of 4 months and still in pretty extreme pain. She prescribed me painkillers and told me to wait and see what happens. In between the weeks of bleeding I had a consistent very dark brown almost black discharge, but tested negative for and STD's.

I asked to see a different gp, who said that he would refer me to a gynaecologist, but won't because I was leaving for university in September and it was in a different county. So when I arrived I registered at the university medical centre, and told my new gp everything. He said he will send me to see a specialist, but only after my records have been transferred (so far they've been stuck with neither my old nor new gp having any of my records. They think it may take another month or two), and then it will take about two months to get an appointment with a specialist and have another ultrasound.

For now he's just told me to wait and take my painkillers but it seems like they're just dismissing me.

But I'm concerned because if it is something serious (as my first gp mentioned back in February) its a very long time to wait for diagnosis and treatment. It also seriously affected my A-level exams, and now my university studies.

What can I say to my doctor or do to get them to take me seriously?

10 Replies

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  • Oh you poor soul, what a dreadful catalogue of lack of care. Sounds like the drs are just going through the motions and don't seem to have an understanding of how terrifying this all must be for you. The only thing I can say is just keep nagging them!! Don't let your gp's (old and new) forget you - push push push to get a diagnosis. I would say that cancer at your age is very rare, but cancer can happen at any point, but it is usually more insidious with no pain. The level of pain and bleeding you have you should be treated more seriously. I think if this was me I would get myself to A&E at this point - if I had a day to spare! Make a song and dance about how bad the pain is, turn on the tears, scream! They will have to investigate - tell them the tests you have already had, and your history but say it has taken a turn for the worse. This must be so stressful for you, and scary, I wish you the best of luck, and send hugs for you. Let us know how you get on xxxx

  • Sorry you're having a rough time. As Trekkiemaiden has said, it's unlikely to be cancer at your age, although nothing can be ruled out until you have seen a specialist. Keep checking with your GP.

    Have a look at "dysmenorrhea", which is a general term for menstrual problems. There are several conditions that could cause your symptoms and unfortunately they can be very painful.

    en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dys...

    Good luck with getting this sorted out.

  • You know your own body so try looking at the Teenage Cancer Trust site for some help and support.

    Health Anxiety is toughest of all to overcome but hopefully you have had blood tests to see if there are any abnormalities and the scans will help. So how are you today?

  • Approach #1: Call your former doctor and have them send you your records, now. I don't know what country you are in but in the US you have the legal right to them and they cannot refuse. Then make a copy for yourself and bring them to your new health service.

    Approach #2: There is nothing of use in those records since your doctor didn't find anything. Explain that to the new health service.

    In either case, once you have done one of the above, demand an appointment with a gynecologist NOW. If they resist explain to them they have a legal liability for delay in the event you have a serious health problem. Inappropriate bleeding needs to be investigated without delay. Any medical administrator who resists is negligent and should be called to account.

    Do NOT turn on the tears and have an emotional fit because you will be labeled as an hysterical head case.

    Except if you are in a country where you would be punished for non-virginity, demand the gynecologist do whatever tests are necessary for diagnosis, including trans-vaginal ultrasound if that is indicated.

  • OP here..

    So I spent the day in A&E today because I fainted on my way to a uni meeting because of the pain.

    Nothing has really come of it other than me falling a little further behind in my studies.

    The emergency doctor I saw told me that because it's an ongoing problem they can't make referrals but has sent a message to my gp to speed things up because this is urgent. I'll be calling my gp on Monday so I can update more then..

  • I shouldn't really be commenting on this ladies' problem, because I'm an 80-year-old male, but if everything is as you have stated, then it would appear that you have just been passed from hand-io-hand, with no empathy at all.

    Have you not a female friend from any professional discipline or male friend who is used to dealing with people from, say, a management level who could go along with you as an advisor and put your case?.....firmly!

    A really smart salesperson would be another choice, able to ask the right questions, make the right demands on your behalf, and listen for stalls and objections by practitioners.

    I offered to do this in the case of a friend who was being shuffled between medics, in spite of several spells in Emergency Hospitals, but unfortunately her daughter, an infant teacher heard of this and stepped in with no idea of how to deal with adults.

    Nothing changed as expected. No decent diagnosis and a few months later my friend died of cancer, without any further treatment.

    I really feel for you with all the worry about your condition, you must be feeling isolated, so do NOT go on alone, make the effort to find a friend unafraid to stand up for you and willing to speak for you, and make sure that anyone you come up against is in NO doubt that they are your chosen advisor, speaking just for you and......... TAKE THEM WITH YOU!

    Best of luck. Ian C.

  • Hello! I'm new here too and am so sorry to hear of your experiences, especially those with various medics. You obviously do need a referral to a Gynaecologist as soon as possible. You're entitled to this, and you deserve it. Your life is at stake here, it's not normal to be having pain and bleeding so much, or to be fainting and having to be taken to A&E. (You're probably anaemic now - and that can cause fainting.) Your GP sounds rubbish and the A&E doctor not much better. I don't believe the bit about not being able to refer you until your records have been transferred, and it shouldn't take so long for them to be transferred anyway. You can still be seen by a specialist, even if they don't have your records. And there's nothing to stop your old GP phoning any hospital consultant and outlining your problems. Don't let them fob you off, you need to be seen by someone who is willing and able to help. Sooner, rather than later. I wish you all the very best and do hope you can get some proper treatment very soon.

  • OP again, I spent some time complaining to my doctor, and he has finally booked me in for an ultrasound and OB/GYN appointment on the 14th.

    At the moment on the other side of the world (sort of, South Africa) my family is ruling together behind my cousin who's in the ICU at the end of a very rough battle against brain and now spinal cancer. :(

  • Glad to hear you have a referral, hope you get some answers. Sorry to hear about your cousin's situation, cancer is a cruel disease.

  • OP here again.

    I had an ultrasound scan yesterday where they found 'anomalies' the technician wasn't allowed to tell me much more because it had to be sent to a specialist for analysis for my next steps.

    I'm hoping to hear from my gp soon

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