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Doctors ‘mistakenly diagnosed 22-year-old cancer sufferer with tonsillitis’


A 22-year-old man was mistakenly diagnosed with tonsillitis for two months before doctors realised it was leukaemia.

Ben Peters aged 22, was told of the horrific time he went through after his tonsils swelled to the size of golf balls leaving him struggling to breathe and unable to eat.


He claims doctors were reluctant to carry out a physical examination of his throat due to coronavirus restrictions.

Mr Peters told how doctors diagnosed him with tonsillitis on three occasions after looking at pictures he had taken himself.

Now he is urging people to seek medical help through the lockdown, and to be persistent if they believe something is wrong.

Ben, who lives with his partner, Mark, in Swindon, Wiltshire, described the situation as ‘frustrating’.

His doctor prescribed him four courses of antibiotics – but he remained in ‘constant pain’.

Ben said: ‘I knew it wasn’t working, at this point my tonsils were filling the back of my throat,’

‘I had to keep phoning in sick, ultimately risking my job.

‘I was taking painkillers constantly and would go whole days with just liquids because I couldn’t bear the pain.’

Ben said wearing a mask, which is now mandatory in shops in the UK due to the pandemic, exacerbated his breathing problems.

He called 111 on Boxing Day after his condition continued to worsen, ‘I couldn’t breathe or get out of bed. I hadn’t even been able to eat my Christmas dinner, I was miserable,’ he added.

Ben was rushed to Great Western Hospital by ambulance – but paramedics still thought it was probably a bad bout of tonsilitis.

Days later Ben was given the devastating news that he had cancer.

He said: ‘When they told me and my partner, my whole world just shattered.

‘I can remember being told and feeling like I was being pushed back against my chair and I couldn’t get up. It was the worst feeling.’

Ben was transferred to a hospital in Oxford where he spent 40 days as an inpatient – thankfully he is now in remission although he still faces further treatment.

Mr Peters said: ‘Before the cancer I was working too much and eating unhealthily,’

‘I had been living in a trance. To many this is the worst news possible – to find out at the age of 22 that you have cancer – but for me this is going to be the making of me.

‘If I say do myself, I’m at my healthiest I have ever been.’

A spokesperson for Ben’s GP, at Priory Road Surgery, said they couldn’t comment on individual patients but urged him to follow the standard procedure if he wished to make a complaint.

This content was sourced from Unity News Network.


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