By Frances Leate
A WOMAN who went to her doctor in the UK with a lump in her breast was only diagnosed with cancer three years later after visiting Spanish doctors.
Elaine Wheeler, 63, originally from London, has been living in Torremolinos since 1999.
She had been going back to the UK every year to see family and get an annual health check.
When she visited her UK doctor in 2005 with a lump in her breast she was told there was nothing wrong with her despite not having had a mammogram.
According to Mrs Wheeler, her doctor instead told her to go home and ‘get on with your life’.
After being given the all clear she put it out of her mind until 2007 when she went to the pharmacy in Coin to get painkillers for a headache.
Because of her very high blood pressure the pharmacist recommended she went to Coin Hospital for a thorough check up and it was there she showed a Spanish doctor the lump in her breast, which had now grown to three and a half inches long.
She said: “The doctor was taken aback by what she saw and I was immediately rushed to Malaga Hospital for further tests.
“I had a number of biopsies which confirmed by worst nightmares, I had breast cancer.
“My whole world fell apart.”
Mrs Wheeler had an operation to remove two tumours from her right breast and had 16 sessions of radiotherapy.
She is now in remission and hopes to get the all clear in April.
She said: “I am lucky to be alive. Thank god I was finally diagnosed.
“The doctors in Spain were fantastic and very thorough, they have been phenomenal and I can never thank them enough.
“They were so astute in realising there was something seriously wrong and my doctor in the UK didn’t even check my blood pressure.”
She added: “I spent all those years thinking it was just a cyst because I had been told there was nothing wrong with me, you should be able to trust your doctor but I could have died.”