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Mum loses her entire nose to cancer after hospital 'cancelled appointment six times'

Mum loses her entire nose to cancer after hospital 'cancelled appointment six times'

The Liverpool mother-of-three was diagnosed with stage two paranasal sinus and skull-based cancer

A mother who had her entire nose removed claims her cancer might have been caught earlier after the hospital cancelled her appointment six times.

Lisa Mercer initially sought medical expertise back in November 2021 after suffering with a painful 'stuffy' nose, nosebleeds and headaches since January.

When the symptoms continued to persist, she phoned her GP for advice - only to find it nigh on impossible to book an in-person appointment.

She says she was subsequently misdiagnosed with a sinus infection after speaking to a doctor over the phone and given an antibiotic nasal spray to use.

Lisa said she used this medication for a month but when it didn't help, she returned to her GP on two more occasions and was just handed other nasal sprays to try.

The Merseyside mother then began experiencing sporadic nose bleeds, a numbness across the side of her face and notices a 'terrible' smell of faeces stuck in her nose.

The Liverpool mum was suffering with several concerning symptoms.

According to Lisa, doctors then referred her for a CT scan before apparently dismissing her symptoms as an infection in the bridge of her nose and once again handed her cleaning and steroid sprays to try.

"[On my phone appointment with the specialist in November 2021], I told him I felt like I had a hole in my nose," she said.

"I could feel a lump in my nose and I could smell a terrible smell. It smelt like poo constantly. At this point I was convinced I had cancer.

"By this point my nose has started to go out of shape. I had a perfectly straight nose and it had started to turn to one side and swell and go really red.

Lisa had her hospital appointment cancelled six times.

"On this phone consultation, I was booked in for an [in-person] consultation, but this was cancelled. A second one was booked and then this was cancelled and this happened six times.

"I finally was seen in July 2022 but I should have pushed more when my appointments were being cancelled."

Eight months later, Lisa saw a doctor in the flesh who took a look up her nose and conducted an MRI and a biopsy.

It was one month later in August that she was diagnosed with stage two paranasal sinus and skull-based cancer - which quickly deteriorated to stage three.

She underwent two surgeries to have the tumour in her nose removed but both were unfortunately unsuccessful, leading to her having her full nose removed.

Lisa had to undergo a full nose removal and radiotherapy.

After undergoing a total rhinectomy, mum-of-three Lisa went under 30 rounds of radiotherapy treatment and now wears a magnetic prosthetic attachment.

She also had to have implants screwed into her forehead and cheeks, with the fake nose being sewn onto her face.

Lisa has to clean her prosthetic at least three times a day and has to replace every one-to-two years.

And despite having since been given the all clear on cancer, she believes that if her initial appointments hadn't been cancelled sooner, she may not have lost her nose.

Lisa had her nose removed.

"I wished I'd pushed it more [my referral and diagnosis] because maybe I'd still have a nose and wouldn't have this fear of the cancer returning hanging over my head," she explained.

"They need more help for people like me [with cancer] and the hospitals need more help because I feel I didn't get much help really."

Lisa said that the subsequent radiotherapy robbed her of her sense of both taste and smell, and that the surgery has left her with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I don't care about my prosthetic nose, but I don't think society would be comfortable with me walking around with no prosthetic on. I'm just happy to be alive." she said.

Lisa now wears a prosthetic nose.

"But I do think I've developed PTSD from the whole experience. It was all pretty traumatic.

"When I first saw myself without my nose it was scary and took me a long time to adjust.

"The radiation treatment was worse than getting my nose off. This was horrific. For the treatment I had to be screwed down in a mask on the table and you can't move at all.

"I had to take a sedative to go through with this."

A spokesperson for the hospital's trust said: "We are sorry to learn of Lisa's concerns regarding her appointments at the hospital and our Patient Advice and Complaints Team will contact Lisa directly to discuss these and offer any further support."

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media

Topics: Health, Parenting