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How a private ultrasound scan can diagnose thyroid cancer and save your life.


We saw lately in the news how a GP failed to refer a lady for a neck and thyroid ultrasound scan after she complained about a lump in the neck. Unfortunately, the patient later died from thyroid cancer. 

The patient visited the GP with a newly presented lump in her neck. After multiple visits in a period of 6 months, concerned that the lump was increasing in size, the GP decided to refer her for an ultrasound scan.

When eventually the patient had the neck and thyroid scan and consequent FNA the lump diagnosed as inoperative thyroid cancer and the patient subsequently died.

This is another sad story, heard too often. The same happened to 2 other patients that doctors missed blood clots and the patients died. You can read these stories here and here.

Patients have to make repeat visits to their doctor before some action to diagnose the symptoms is being taken. Most of the patients are being told that there is nothing wrong with them and given painkillers and antibiotics.

Alarmingly a major study a few years ago found out that GPs in the UK miss 1 in 3 cancers. Obviously, GPs need to save money but gambling with patients lives, you must agree is not the right way.

The results of this study:

  • 36% of cancer sufferers were not referred to a hospital when they first consulted their GP;
     20% saw their GP at least three times about symptoms of the disease, before being referred to hospital for tests,
  • seven per cent needed at least five visits to their local surgery before action was taken; 
  •  more than 300 patients a day are diagnosed with cancer have previously had their symptoms dismissed or misdiagnosed as minor ailments.


This is why you should always query the accuracy of the GP diagnosis. You know your body better and if you are not convinced that the doctor is right you should take responsibility for your own health.

A simple private ultrasound scan would have saved these and who knows how many other patients lives.

You can also read our post: "Why have a private scan".


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