Friday 1 July 2022 02:12 PM Girl, 12, found with cancerous tumours 'crushing heart and windpipe' after GP ... trends now

Friday 1 July 2022 02:12 PM Girl, 12, found with cancerous tumours 'crushing heart and windpipe' after GP ... trends now
Friday 1 July 2022 02:12 PM Girl, 12, found with cancerous tumours 'crushing heart and windpipe' after GP ... trends now

Friday 1 July 2022 02:12 PM Girl, 12, found with cancerous tumours 'crushing heart and windpipe' after GP ... trends now

A schoolgirl was found to have cancerous tumours 'crushing her heart and windpipe' after a GP initially dismissed her symptoms as a viral infection.

Imogen Bloxham, of Tamworth, Staffordshire, was rushed to hospital on June 6 after her mother noticed she had turned 'yellow'. Chest X-rays revealed she had a cluster of tumours.

It followed months of NHS waits and missed opportunities to catch the 12-year-old's cancer early.

Back in February, Imogen went to the GP complaining of itchy skin, night sweats and fatigue. Her mother, Natalie, also noticed unusual lumps on her neck.

Their doctor thought Imogen had a viral infection and told them to come back three weeks later if her symptoms hadn't improved. 

But Imogen caught Covid in that time, and doctors then thought her symptoms may have worsened by the pandemic-causing virus.

When the lumps in her neck still failed to clear, Imogen was told she needed further tests at hospital but the family were told this could take three months.  

Ms Bloxham eventually rushed her daughter to hospital in early June after noticing she had developed jaundice — a sign her organs were struggling to function. 

Medics initially thought a lump on Imogen Bloxham's neck was a viral infection. Imogen here pictured on her 12th birthday

Medics initially thought a lump on Imogen Bloxham's neck was a viral infection. Imogen here pictured on her 12th birthday

But months later after being rushed to hospital with jaundice it was eventually revealed Imogen had a rare form of cancer called Hodgkin lymphoma

But months later after being rushed to hospital with jaundice it was eventually revealed Imogen had a rare form of cancer called Hodgkin lymphoma

Scans revealed tumours (highlighted in pink) cased by the cancer were effectively crushing her heart and windpipe and had also spread to other parts of her lymphatic system, a network of vessels and glands spread throughout the body

Scans revealed tumours (highlighted in pink) cased by the cancer were effectively crushing her heart and windpipe and had also spread to other parts of her lymphatic system, a network of vessels and glands spread throughout the body

Scans revealed a cluster of tumours around the youngster's heart and windpipe that were restricting blood and oxygen being pumped around her body.

Further tests showed Imogen had stage three cancer Hodgkin lymphoma.

The cancer develops in the lymphatic system, a network of vessels and glands throughout the body that normally helps fight off infections. 

It is considered a rare cancer, with only 2,100 cases in the UK diagnosed each year. Three-quarters of patients survive 10 or more years.

Since her diagnosis, Imogen has been undergoing chemotherapy to try and reduce the size of the tumours. 

Speaking about the ordeal, Ms Bloxham, 34, said her GP initially thought the lumps on her daughter's neck were a viral infection.   

'I took her to the GP as soon as I noticed [lumps in neck] and they advised it could be viral and to wait three weeks,' she said.

Imogen with her step-dad Martin Turford and her mother Natalie Bloxham. Imogen's cancer diagnosis was further delayed after she caught Covid

Imogen with her step-dad Martin Turford and her mother Natalie Bloxham. Imogen's cancer diagnosis was further delayed after she caught Covid

While waiting for further tests to be done at hospital, which the family were told could take up to three months, they took Imogen to Greece in an attempt to lift her spirits

While waiting for further tests to be done at hospital, which the family were told could take up to three months, they took Imogen to Greece in an attempt to lift her spirits

Following her cancer diagnosis Imogen has been undergoing chemotherapy in an attempt to shrink the tumours

Following her cancer diagnosis Imogen has been undergoing chemotherapy in an attempt to shrink the tumours 

The family have been told Imogen's condition likely means she will lose her hair and may have problems having children in the future

The family have been told Imogen's condition likely means she will lose her hair and

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