Man suffering pain gives up on getting GP appointment – and ends up with pancreatic cancer

A young, previously fit and healthy man says he gave up on getting help from his GP months before being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. 

Dan Godley, 28, started experiencing symptoms in July 2020. 

He was suffering from tightness in his abdomen and through his employer’s medical care he had an ultrasound which came back clear.

But by May the following year Dan, from Cheshire, says his symptoms got worse and as he’d changed jobs went to the GP for help.

Blood tests once again came back clear and he was notified by text, reports Cheshire Live.

Then his symptoms became unbearable.

The text message from his surgery was the end of the line for Dan with the GPs – and he says he was left needing to repeat his story from scratch every time he got in contact with them.

He says despite experiencing abdominal pain so bad he was struggling to breathe he gave up and went to A and E instead.

After a number of procedures and a PET scan several weeks later he was given the news he had a tumour on his pancreas. 

He said: “The diagnosis of pancreatic cancer was such a shock to everyone.

“Particularly because of my age and my good health.

“The cyst growing on my pancreas had got so large that it blocked the bile duct off, resulting in jaundice.

“Without the cyst growing to this size and causing other problems with my body, I would have probably not been diagnosed until the cancer had spread beyond the pancreas.” 

Due to the location of the the tumour he can’t currently undergo surgery and instead is having chemotherapy in the hope it will shrink.

He added: “The symptoms of pancreatic cancer are not well-known, but I am proof that it can happen to anyone.

“With increased awareness around the symptoms and better training in GPs, it’s my hope that we can improve the survival rates of pancreatic cancer sufferers.” 

Charity Pancreatic Cancer Action says just 10 per cent of the 10,500 annual UK pancreatic cases are diagnosed in time for life-saving surgery.

Joe Kirwin, CEO of Pancreatic Cancer Action, said: ”Our PCAM campaign #MISSED was developed to raise awareness of all the missed pancreatic cancer diagnoses that have had huge, irrevocable impacts on people’s lives.

“Symptoms were missed, and now thousands of families are missing their loved ones.

“If detected earlier, many pancreatic cancer sufferers could survive – but it all starts with education.” 


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