A YOUNG model is battling breast cancer after doctors three times dismissed her fears that she had the disease.
Sarah Robertson, 22, believes her young age meant that the medics, in both Scotland and England, failed to consider the possibility.
She has now just started 18 weeks of chemotherapy for the most severe grade of breast cancer.
Sarah says she also had to pursue doctors for answers and had important messages lost.
Sarah, a semi-finalist in Miss Scotland 2010, first noticed a lump under her arm last year and visited her GP, who referred her to the breast clinic at Ninewells Hospital in her home town of Dundee.
At the clinic, she was told the 1cm growth was of a non-cancerous type common in women her age.
After she moved to Cornwall in October, she began to feel pain and noticed the lump seemed to be getting bigger.
Her GP in Cornwall diagnosed an infection around the lump and prescribed antibiotics.
But the pain remained, sending Sarah back to the doctor, who referred her to another clinic.
After a consultation, during which she was again told it was a non-cancerous lump, she was scheduled to have it removed in February.
But, by the end of January, she was in severe pain. And messages she and her GP sent to the oncologist dealing with her case were not passed on.
Sarah said: “Finally, on January 31, I contacted them again. This time, I had an emergency appointment made.
“I had a mammogram and a biopsy of the lump, which measured about 7cm.
“On February 7, I was told it was in fact a rare medullary tumour and it was a grade three invasive cancer.”
Sarah said she has learned that it’s not surprising no one thought of cancer at first.
She said: “When you’re younger, it’s not the sort of thing that would go through your head … or a doctor’s head either.”
Sarah has now moved back to Dundee and is getting treatment at Ninewells.
Before beginning her course of chemo, she cut off her long hair to donate to a charity who make wigs for children and teenagers battling cancer.
She has also raised more than £6000 for Cancer Research UK.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.