A BOWEL cancer patient who claimed she was turned away by GPs for ten months before she was diagnosed has died days after getting married.
Gemma Greenwood, formerly Epstein, said she “filled Cups with blood” when she went to the toilet before she was diagnosed with the disease.
By the time she was diagnosed doctors told her to “take each day as it comes”.
She died on December 20, days after marrying her partner Ben Greenwood.
Gemma was paying around £2,000 a month for the drug Avastin which she couldn’t get on the NHS, and trying to fund last-ditch treatment in Germany that could cost as much as £200,000.
On December 12th, Gemma was told that the cancer was too aggressive for Avastin to work on its own without chemotherapy.
Eight days later, her sister, Becky Epstein uploaded an emotional post to Facebook confirming her passing.
“Gemma passed away this morning at 8am with her husband by her side. An unbelievably beautiful, courageous and inspirational lady who touched so many people throughout her life,” she said.
“We are so very proud of how bravely and fiercely she fought her illness, right until the very end, she is now at peace. RIP my beautiful big sister ”
Gemma previously said that had family doctors acted sooner she might not be facing such a bleak future.
The 37-year-old, from Middleton, Greater Manchester, first went to her doctor in the spring of 2015.
Her sister Becky, 34, said: “She was going to the GP in pain and she was filling cups full of blood.
“They kept telling her nothing was wrong and they couldn’t find anything.
“The doctor told her no more Avastin, no more chemo. Take each day as it comes. She broke down.
“She deteriorated every day and we didn’t know how long she had left.
“The day before she died, she said ‘I don’t think I will be here tomorrow’.”
It was not until April 2016, after repeated visits to GP practices in NHS Greater Manchester and NHS England North, that Gemma was finally referred to a consultant.
She underwent surgery and numerous rounds of chemotherapy and believed she was in remission until doctors told her the disease had spread to her lungs, hip bone, brain and half of her liver.
Bowel cancer is the second deadliest form of cancer, claiming 16,000 lives a year, but it CAN be cured if it’s caught early enough.
Fewer than one in ten people survive bowel cancer if it’s picked up at stage 4, but detected quickly, more than nine in ten patients will live five years or longer.
Becky says her sister has been told by the NHS there is nothing more they can do to tackle the disease.
“If the cancer was caught sooner it would have been operated on sooner,” she said.
“Gemma’s angry that they haven’t given her a full body scan. They have only scanned one area at a time when she says they’re hurting.
“She feels it could all have been caught much sooner if she had been given a full body scan.
“She was really let down when she was suffering with severe headaches and went to A&E but was left in a side room for 14 hours as nobody knew what to do.
“There was no room on the wards and it turned out she had fluid and swelling on her brain.”
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