Rosie MacArthur was just 34-years-old when she received a life-changing diagnosis of stage four bowel cancer – almost a year after her doctor had repeatedly misdiagnosed her.
“It is not cancer. It can’t be cancer. You are too young,” Rosie’s sister, Holly, recalled the doctors saying.
Now, three years and countless treatments later, Rosie is still fighting for her life in Istanbul, Turkey – where she is undergoing pioneering treatment at the ChemoThermia Oncology Centre.
Holly set up a GoFundMe to raise money for her sister’s expensive treatments, including various cancer drugs only available through certain channels, as well as supplements, lifestyle, and diet changes.
For the treatment to be successful, Rosie must travel to Istanbul for three days every two weeks to receive treatment costing “£6,000, with scans an additional £1,000.”
According to Holly, her sister will need at least six months of treatment at the clinic. Of their £50,000 goal, the MacArthur family has raised £36,800 so far.
However, had it not been for Rosie’s general practitioner repeatedly misdiagnosing her symptoms, her cancer may have been caught much earlier – which would have given her a higher chance at remission.
Holly told The Independent of her sister’s battle with the doctors: “She was in a lot of pain for over a year and they didn’t really take it seriously. She was going to doctors with symptoms but they said to her ‘don’t worry.’
“They were very dismissive of her. They were doing vague checks and one of the reasons she was so frustrated was because they didn’t believe her,” she said.
It wasn’t until Rosie went to the hospital, where she had a scan, did they find a tumour – over a year after she’d first complained of pain.
Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation and the second-most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women.
Although early colorectal cancer often has no symptoms, according to Cancer.org, there are symptoms that you should be aware of, which can be confirmed with early screening.
13 ways to help prevent cancer
Weakness, excessive fatigue, and shortness of breath are all associated with anaemia, caused by blood loss from the cancer.
Additionally, bleeding from the rectum, blood in the toilet after a bowel movement, dark stools, a change in bowel habits, and cramping or discomfort in the lower abdomen are all symptoms associated with bowel cancer.
Unintentional weight loss or decreased appetite are also symptoms you should not ignore.
And if you feel your doctor is not taking your symptoms seriously, seeking a second opinion is advisable.
To help Rosie afford this potentially life-saving treatment, you can donate here. In addition, the family is hosting two events that will fundraise for Rosie’s treatment, including a party #radpartyforrosie taking place this Sunday at Fountain and Ink and a “Cabaret for Rosie” at SHE Soho in London on Sunday June 17.