My name is Sharon. I turned 50 in June.I have recently been diagnosed with stage 3 high grade serous ovarian cancer. I have had a radical hysterectomy and am about to start my 2nd cycle of chemo. I am still very angry about my diagnosis as I am a clinical nurse specialist who has been presenting with symptoms since Feb 2017. So here goes my rant....I had an abnormal ultrasound (bilateral endometriomas)in the nhs in June and was referred to one of the top gynaecologists who failed to physically examine me. He ordered an MRI which came back clear so I told him it was wrong as it failed to even pick up my endometriosis let alone the endometriomas . He then said he would check the MRI with another ultrasound despite me questioning why it would not be checked with a more specific imaging mode as a ct scan. He said if the ultrasound came back clear I was not to come back and he would be reassured that nothing was wrong.the ultrasound came back clear and he wrote to my GP expressing concern at the scan done in the nhs and told me this news was very reassuring. He also told my GP that either way I would not require any active treatment. So that was us both told by a leading gynaecologist. My question is ...if that was a leading gynaecologist who demonstrated, in my opinion as a clinical nurse specialist, a total lack of acceptable standards of practice by failing to carry out a thorough clinical assessment of a patient presenting with several symptoms suggestive of ovarian cancer( urinary urgency,abdominal bloating and discomfort, collapse from abdominal pain coming from right ovary up into diaphragm where tumour has now been found and is unresectable, history of endometriosis and resulting infertility, father died at 60 from prostate cancer, mother died age 47 of non Hodgkin's lymphoma) then we are in a very sorry place with regards to detecting this disease. I have been told by my oncologist that because the disease is so hard to detect that we will never know if my cancer had been there during the scan in June. I refuse to believe this and if patients present with symptoms they should be checked and have the risk of malignancy indices calculated ( as per NICE guidelines for detecting ovarian cancer). If Drs and especially gynae specialists fail to carry out these basic physical assessments and tests they then cannot prove the cancer was not there and should be answerable to their governing body for unacceptable practice by omission to complete an assessment. I will quite happily go into medical schools and speak about my story as unless something is done to educate the medical profession on the consequences (of their failure to complete thorough clinical assessments and be able to arrive at a differential diagnosis and then order the appropriate tests to enable them to provide a more accurate diagnosis) more of us will be misdiagnosed or simply left undetected until it is too late.
I have been told to stay positive and to be strong and channel all my energy into my treatment and recovery but I as a nurse feel this is such an important issue. I cannot believe leading gynae specialists can be letting this happen to their patients. I find this unacceptable and shocking in this day and age.