Simon Smith received a kidney cancer misdiagnosis; he presented the classic symptoms of kidney cancer to his doctor, specialist and A&E but was delayed treatment through misdiagnosis of kidney stones for over three vital months.
In the lead up to Kidney Cancer Awareness Week 2018 (#KCAW2018), Simon has kindly agreed to share his story to highlight and raise the profile of kidney cancer in the public and medical arena.
“My first symptom when I knew something was wrong was blood in my urine, and not just a little bit of blood either, I took a photo (left) to show the doctors which is not for the squeamish.
I sort medical advice and at first was told I had a urine infection and prescribed antibiotics. I took the weeks course and while I was taking them, no more bleeding but the following week I had another bleed.
When I went back to the doctors I was told I had kidney stones and I was referred to the hospital. After this appointment, bleeds became more frequent with blood clots blocking me up to the point I could only urinate laying down, but this stopped working and I had to go to A&E for emergency help. Whilst in A&E they felt this could be more than kidney stones and pushed through an appointment for the following week with urology.
When I got to the clinic I was told I was at the wrong clinic, this clinic was for bladder problems but after some begging and retelling of my disturbing issues they sent me for a CT scan of my kidneys.
On viewing the scans, they could see there was no kidney at all on my right side just a mass, which was the tumour. I went to the hospital to get my scan results alone because I thought it was about having treatment for kidney stones. I had to go through being told I had cancer alone. My tumour was nearly the size of my head. Up to this point cancer was never mentioned, even though, in retrospect I showed classic symptoms.
From the first bleed to being diagnosed with cancer was 3 months and it would have been longer if I had not taken myself to A&E, realising something a lot more was going on. I am telling my story to help raise awareness of kidney cancer so people with such obvious symptoms are not passed from pillar to post delaying vital treatment.”
You can watch the full story of Simon’s journey in the video below and where he is in his journey today.