Woman told her pain was a 'sprained knee' by doctors later diagnosed with cancer
A woman says she was misdiagnosed three times by doctors before they discovered she had a rare bone cancer.
Sarah-Jayne Wilson, a project coordinator from Warwickshire, says that she spent almost a year suffering with horrific knee pain, pleading with medical professionals for help but was ‘fobbed off’ with standard painkillers.
But the 27-year-old knew something was really wrong – and demanded answers.
Ten months after her initial appointment, she was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, in November 2022.
‘I am so angry, it could have been dealt with a year ago if someone had been a bit more proactive about it,’ Sarah-Jayne told NeedToKnow.Online.
‘You could tell they just thought it was knee pain and that painkillers would solve the issue.
‘It was a shock, as I was 26 and to get told you have cancer that is rare and not many people have heard of is terrifying.’
Sarah-Jayne claims doctors misdiagnosed her with tendonitis (over the phone), shin splints and Osgood-Schlatter – a disease that causes swelling and pain below the knee.
It wasn’t until she pushed for more tests that a biopsy of a lump revealed her pain was much more serious.
She said: ‘I thought: “Why me?” and I had a moment of shame that I hadn’t pushed further for an answer at the start.
‘I was also worried how it would affect my life and my partner’s life. My biggest fears were the treatment I would have to get and if I would lose my leg.
‘I was also wondering why it wasn’t picked up sooner and how much it had spread because of this.’
Sarah-Jayne was hurried to hospital for more tests and was told she had Ewing’s sarcoma.
She is currently undergoing gruelling rounds of intensive chemotherapy to shrink the tumour and will require knee and Tibia replacement surgery down the line – as well as an operation on her foot and intensive physio to be able to walk again.
Sarah-Jayne added: ‘I can’t walk more than a few meters at the minute without pain and I need to use crutches. I also can’t drive anymore due to the pain and my foot.
‘As well as this, I’m also not capable of walking my dogs anymore or doing Zumba which I loved to do.’
Since the diagnosis, her partner, James, 33, has set up a fundraiser with the hopes of raising money for bone cancer research.
In 2024, he will be cycling across Vietnam and Cambodia, travelling 350 miles over the space of six days.
Sarah-Jayne added: ‘James looked into bone cancer and found this got the least funding over some other forms of cancer, so he wanted to help.
‘I now want to share my story just to push people to get a second opinion or to double check if something doesn’t feel right.
‘It’s so important to try and catch things like this early.’
A George Eliot Hospital spokesperson said: ‘We are sorry to hear of Ms Wilson’s experience.
‘We are unable to comment on an individual’s care and treatment, but we do invite Ms Wilson to get in contact with us so we can investigate her concerns further.’
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