Misdiagnosis of Bowel Cancer, A Father’s Struggle for Timely Referral

Misdiagnosis of Bowel Cancer, A Father’s Struggle for Timely Referral

...By Alan Peterson for TDPel Media.

Richard Scott, a charity worker and father of two daughters, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer two years after initially visiting his GP.


In March 2021, Richard started experiencing blood in his stool and extreme tiredness and went to his GP.

Richard Scott with his wife and children
Richard Scott with his wife and children

However, no referral or further investigation was made, and he was sent home.

Over the next year, Richard went back to his GP two more times, but it wasn’t until his third visit in May 2022 that he was referred to the gastroenterology team for checks.

Misdiagnosis and Delayed Referral

After further tests in August 2022, Richard was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer, which had spread to his liver.

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Richard’s treatment has been challenging, both physically and emotionally, and he is currently recovering at home after having his tumour removed.


Richard’s Diagnosis and Treatment

Richard initially underwent tests to check for inflammatory bowel disease, which returned normal results on further testing.

No other investigations were carried out. He returned to his doctors in April 2022 with the same symptoms and more frequent visits to the toilet.

The test showed high levels of calprotectin again, which can indicate cancer.

Finally, a referral to gastroenterology was made, after 13 months of going back and forth.

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Following tests, Richard was diagnosed with bowel cancer in August 2022.

He has undergone six months of chemotherapy and recently had surgery to remove a tumour from his liver.

The Impact on Richard and His Family


Richard is recovering at home and awaiting advice on the next steps in his treatment, which he expects to involve further surgery that will leave him with a stoma.

The illness has had a significant impact on his family life, and he is no longer able to do the things he used to do with his family.

His wife has had to drop work hours to help look after him, and he is now reliant on her.

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Richard’s Message to Others

Richard’s story highlights the importance of timely referral and investigation for symptoms of cancer.

It is crucial to be aware of the signs of cancer and to access care as soon as possible.

Richard hopes that his story will raise awareness and encourage others not to go through a cancer diagnosis alone.

He is determined to fight the disease and spend as much time as possible with his family.


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