Woman, 31, who is now battling EIGHT tumours says NHS doctors missed her cancer for five years and dismissed her lump in online appointments during Covid pandemic – before in-person private consultation made correct diagnosis

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  • Joanna Georgiou has a tumor next to her heart, in her lungs and in her knee
  • 31-year-old says she feels disappointed by NHS after years of misdiagnosis
  • Ms Georgiou, who is still battling stage 4 cancer, says non-Covid patients were ‘on hold’ during the pandemic as the NHS battled to find treatment for those with the virus.

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A woman now battling eight tumors says doctors missed her cancer as they were focused on treating Covid victims.

Joanna Georgiou, 31, a London area manager, says she repeatedly went to NHS doctors because she had a small lump in her knee that they failed to detect as a tumour.

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Ms Georgiou says the pandemic exacerbated the problem when she was forced to use e-consultation instead of seeing her in person with doctors.

She said she hadn’t been diagnosed with cancer until she had personally paid for a visit to a private clinic.

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It has now been confirmed that after being diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, Ms. Georgiou has a Satsuma-sized tumor next to her heart, six small tumors in her lungs and one large tumor in her knee, a cancer that grows in the joints. is a rare form of

She says she feels the NHS has disappointed her, that more could have been done to diagnose her cancer earlier and that those without COVID were ‘on hold’ during the pandemic.

Joanna Georgiou

Image: Joanna Georgiou, 31, who is now battling eight tumours, says NHS doctors missed her rare cancer as they focused on treating Covid victims during the pandemic.

Manager Joanna Georgiou (pictured) has gone through four rounds of chemotherapy and is considering amputating her leg as she continues to battle aggressive cancer

Manager Joanna Georgiou (pictured) has gone through four rounds of chemotherapy and is considering amputating her leg as she continues to battle aggressive cancer

Pictured: Joanna's biggest tumor is in her right knee which she first noticed in 2016

Pictured: Joanna’s biggest tumor is in her right knee which she first noticed in 2016

How Joanna’s Cancer Wasn’t Diagnosed During the Pandemic

2016: Joanna noticed a small lump on her knee and her GP told her to take ibuprofen to reduce the swelling

2017: The lump kept growing so she was taken back to the GP and she was told it was a cyst after MRI and ultrasound. The doctors said that he would have to remove it.

2018: At this stage, the lump had grown to the size of a tennis ball, but was still not dry. Joanna claims she was told it had been too long and that the cyst was now calcified. He was placed on a waiting list for surgical removal.

late 2018: By now, the lump had doubled in size and was causing pain and decreased mobility. Joanna says she hadn’t heard any news about her operation and followed it up with her GP, but was told that cancer patients were given priority and would have to wait a long time.

2019: Joanna spent the year chasing appointments as it continued to grow and even turned GPs in hopes that it would speed up the process.

mid 2020: The growth had clearly grown and was affecting Joanna’s mobility. She said the pain was affecting her sleep cycle as well and that painkillers had no effect. Her latest hospital referral for removal of the lump, which was still considered benign, was postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

early 2021: Joanna says the pain was so severe, she called 111 and was put in touch with a doctor who would make an immediate referral for a new MRI. However, upon speaking with his GP he was told that no new referrals for scans would be scheduled during the pandemic.

June 2021: Joanna decides to pay for a private consultation, where the doctor tells her it is serious and needs a thorough and immediate investigation, to prepare her for a cancer diagnosis.

July 2021: After a personal consultant’s MRI, CT scan and biopsy, it was confirmed that Joanna had synovial sarcoma and that the tumor had grown to 18 cm.

August 2021: It was confirmed that the cancer had metastasized to his chest, tumors were identified on his heart and lungs.

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The 31-year-old first noticed the lump in 2016 and was initially told it was a cyst, given ibuprofen and sent it on the way.

Of that first meeting she said: ‘I will never forget the first doctor I went to. I told her that I have this soft lump that was not really painful to touch but didn’t feel right.

‘And he barely looked at my feet, not interested in what I was saying.’

Joanna says that the pain in her joint was increasing and prompted her to see several doctors, who prescribed strong painkillers.

She said: ‘I spent years going to different doctors and specialists because I knew in my gut that something was wrong.

‘I actually had two types of diagnoses. One was that it was a ganglion cyst.

‘And then after that, it was that I had a calcium bite injury that caused bleeding. Through all of that, cancer wasn’t really discussed.

‘At one stage, I was actually told it was a benign tumor at one point and I went on a waiting list to have it removed.

‘But I was at the back of that list because I was told the more important cancer patients were before me.

‘I sometimes wonder if I’ve waited so long to see if I’m going to get to the point that I’m going to be one of those important matters.’

In August 2021, she visited a private surgery and was diagnosed with stage 4 synovial sarcoma.

Synovial sarcoma is a rare form of cancer that grows in soft tissue and is diagnosed in only three out of a million people each year, however, it often grows near joints and can spread very quickly.

Joanna feels disheartened by the NHS and feels that more could have been done for her diagnosis earlier.

She said: ‘We believe what we have been told and we trust our medical professionals.

‘We trust the NHS and I was just doing what I was told, although I thought they might have had something wrong.

‘I am upset and I feel let down by the NHS. I think I work really hard and I have always paid my taxes and am a good British citizen.’

Joanna says she feels that her treatment was further delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘Coronavirus is a terrible thing and a lot of people are involved in it,’ she said.

‘I think while this was going on,…

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