In briefBMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c3286 (Published 24 June 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c3286
All rapid responses
Having, in the past two months, lost two friends from late diagnosed
ovarian cancer I am delighted that the paper by William Hamilton and
colleagues (BMJ 2009;339:b2998, doi:10.1136/bmj.b2998), has won the Royal
College of General Practitioners’ paper of the year award. I hope this
paper has become compulsory reading for all GPs.
One of my friends, aged 70, was seen dozens of
times by her single handed GP over a period of 9 months and was prescribed
5 lots of antibiotics for abdominal distension due to a 'stomach ulcer'.
Even to an untrained eye it was obvious that something was seriously wrong
but even when she once fainted in his practice with severe abdominal pain,
and on another occasion vomited bile into his wash basin she was not
referred for a scan or to a consultant until far too late. Unfortunately,
my friend who was in awe of GPs refused to let me report him for what I
felt was serious neglect.
My other friend, in her sixties, was
initially referred to a gynaecologist with abdominal distension and 6
months were wasted before a correct diagnosis was made, although her GP
did apologise for the misreferral. Once diagnosed both my friends received
excellent care from their local hospitals although unfortunately their
treatment was ultimately unsuccessful because of the late diagnosis.
On other note, from my friends' experience there appears to be little
community support or information available for patients with ovarian
cancer, with the majority of professional support groups and information
leaflets being geared to patients with breast cancer.
June Thompson RN RHV
Competing interests: No competing interests