Doctors misdiagnosed woman's cancer as 'teenage laziness.'

Doctors misdiagnosed woman’s cancer as ‘teenage laziness.’

This woman’s doctor allegedly shrugged off her ailments and said “laziness” was the answer — but it turns out she had cancer.  

When Courtney Nettleton, a 21-year-old from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, found herself feeling “uncontrollably” tired and sleeping 14 hours every day over the summer of 2021, she feared something was wrong. 

“I was told by doctors that it was just teenage laziness,” Nettleton told NeedtoKnow.online. But after co-workers noticed a large lump protruding out of the blonde’s neck in January 2022, a specialist uncovered the true cause of her chronic illness.   

“In February, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and doctors told me it was growing fast,” she said. “I was so devastated and worried.” 

The American Cancer Society estimated that there have been 43,800 new cases of thyroid cancer in the United States so far in 2022 — with 11,860 instances found in men and 31,940 in women.

“I knew deep down that something wasn’t right, and being told that it was just teenage laziness by the doctors was incredibly frustrating,” claimed Nettleton, who works as a senior care assistant, told Jam Press.

Doctors initially told Nettleton that her incessant sleepiness was nothing more than “teenage laziness.”NYPost Composite

In the months before receiving her grim prognosis, Nettleton experienced a series of unusual symptoms including tiredness, breathlessness, hot flashes, unsteadiness, neck stiffness, acne and moodiness. 

But she claims her healthcare provider dismissed her complaints, trivializing them as age-related growing pains. And so, she resumed her regular routine, going to work and hanging out with friends. Nettleton’s original doctors have not yet responded to requests for comment, according to Jam Press.

Although she feared something was wrong with her body, Nettleton took her doctor's advice and ignored her symptoms.  Although she feared something was wrong with her body, Nettleton took her doctor’s advice and ignored her symptoms. Jam Press/@courtneynettleton

However, at the top of the year, everything changed after colleagues pointed out the deformity in her neck and urged her to seek a second opinion. 

“My friends noticed a small lump on my neck at work and that combined with my symptoms pushed me to book a doctor’s appointment the next day,” said Nettleton. “I was given a two-week urgent referral for an ultra-sound which confirmed I had a solid tumor in my thyroid.”

After receiving her diagnosis, Nettleton underwent a series of surgeries in hopes of eradicating her cancer.  After receiving her diagnosis, Nettleton underwent a series of surgeries in hopes of eradicating her cancer. Jam Press/@courtneynettleton

She immediately began treatment a month later in March had two surgeries scheduled to remove both halves of her thyroid.  

But, unfortunately, Nettleton’s woes were far from over. 

On March 22, in between the surgeries, she claims that doctors informed her she was cancer-free. 

“After my first surgery, my doctor rang me and told me I was completely cancer-free and that I had nothing to worry about,” she recalled. 

But, after enjoying a brief period of relief, Nettleton was told that she still had cancer, and that the cancerous cells had spread to other areas of her body. 

Nettleton has undergone surgery, and is anxiously awaiting the results of the procedures. Nettleton has undergone surgery, and is anxiously awaiting the results of the procedures. Jam Press/@courtneynettleton

“My consultant rang me just three days after this to tell me that cancer cells were found in lymph channels and blood vessels within my thyroid and that I would need further surgery and radioiodine,” she said. 

“I was so upset when I found out I still had cancer,” Nettleton said. “I had to tell my family and friends that I wasn’t cancer-free and that I had more treatment to go.”

She’s since undergone two more surgical procedures, which have left her feeling “weak” and “anxious.”

“The first surgery made me very poorly and I was bed bound and the radioiodine made me feel very weak, and I had to be isolated in a room which was really lonely,” she recalled. 

“I will find out the results in roughly around six weeks to see whether this has been successful or not,” added Nettleton, who’s leaning on her friends and family for support during her post-op recovery.  

Nettleton is now raising funds for cancer research and support in her country. Nettleton is now raising funds for cancer research and support in her country. Jam Press/@courtneynettleton

“The wait is sickening, I have the constant reassurance from [Macmillan Cancer Trust] and my social worker and even though my cancer is very curable there’s always that worry that it could spread elsewhere,” she continued. “I suffer from severe anxiety so I am constantly worried.”

She also finds comfort in working, and is thankful for the love she continues to receive from coworkers.  

“Work has been very supportive throughout the whole entire journey and has constantly supported me,” said Nettleton, who’s set to participate in a charity skydiving event to raise awareness and funds for Macmillan Cancer Trust and the Teenage Cancer Trust. 

She’s also launched a GoFundMe to crowdsource money for the cause.

“Although I feel very let down by doctors, the staff at Macmillan, my consultant and Leeds St James’s hospital have been absolutely amazing throughout my journey,” Nettleton said gushingly. 

And she’s now imploring others to always advocate for themselves. 

“Everyone knows their own bodies more than anybody else,” she said. “It is so important to trust your gut and follow your instinct — you have to stand up for yourself when you know something isn’t right.”

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