Woman diagnosed with cancer after being told it was eczema

Kay Wootten, a 57-year-old retiree from Romford, London, is sharing her harrowing experience of being misdiagnosed by doctors, leading to a devastating stage four melanoma diagnosis.

Kay claims medical professionals initially dismissed the mark on her face as eczema, prescribing steroids and moisturisers to treat the issue. However, a biopsy conducted four years later revealed the presence of cancer, altering Kay’s life.

Reflecting on the ordeal, Kay said: “All this could have been prevented if they had just listened to me when it started to change. My whole life has completely changed – I try to joke it off, but it’s really taken a toll on me.”

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Kay first noticed the mark on her face in August 2018. During the lockdown, her symptoms worsened as the freckle began to grow, itch, and bleed. Despite her concerns, doctors remained adamant it was eczema. In 2021, Kay was prescribed steroids and moisturisers, but they proved ineffective in treating the issue. Determined to find answers, she insisted on a referral to a dermatologist.

Kay was then diagnosed with stage four melanoma. Over the past year, she has undergone chemotherapy and surgery to halt the further spread of the disease. The journey has been arduous, with multiple surgeries required to remove the primary tumour and address the presence of cancer cells in the surrounding margins. Kay has endured four cheek lifts and had a lymph node removed. In addition, her thyroid, which tested positive for melanoma, had to be surgically removed.

The toll of the ongoing treatment is taking a significant toll on Kay’s well-being. She said: “Where I’m still ill all the time from the chemo, I can’t do anything. I feel like the next year is going to be a complete waste if they can’t get rid of it.”

Kay added: “You don’t realise how much it affects your family as well. It’s not just you involved it’s your kids and you miss out on so much because of it.”

The Manchester Evening News has reached out to Kay’s medical centre and NHS North East London for comment on her case.

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