A grandma is sharing her harrowing health battle after being diagnosed with bladder cancer – and says she had to have part of her vagina removed to save her life.
When Patricia Broxton started experiencing frequent bouts of pain, she assumed that a typical infection had taken hold – but then, her life was hanging in the balance.
The grandma, aged 62, had visited the doctor numerous times and was given antibiotics for reoccurring urinary tract infections.
But then, her daughter, Linzi, urged her to seek out a second opinion and was diagnosed with an overreactive bladder.
Patricia, who then found blood in her urine, was rushed to hospital and was later diagnosed with an 8.5-centimetre tumour in her bladder – and now, she’s raising awareness for others on the signs to look out for.
“I knew there was something more wrong, but I kept listening to the doctors as I didn’t want to believe it was anything worse,” Patricia, from Lancashire, told NeedToKnow.co.uk.
“I tried as hard as I could to ignore the symptoms, but they quickly became too much to bear.
“Each week, I had a new infection and I kept having to use the toilet all the time, despite not having much to drink.
“I couldn’t figure out what was wrong, but when they diagnosed me with cancer, it all became clear.”
Patricia was referred to the urology department, where she underwent a cystoscopy and subsequently, surgery to remove the tumour.
She said: “I couldn’t stop crying, as I was absolutely heartbroken.
“They told me I had to have surgery immediately to remove the mass, but it was attached my bladder wall.
“I had to remove my bladder entirely, the surrounding lymph nodes and part of my vagina.
“I wasn’t fussed about this, not in my old age anyway, but it was heartbreaking having such an important, and private, part of my life removed.”
After countless sessions of chemotherapy, she was finally declared cancer-free in October 2023.
Now, she’s sharing her story to warn others on the signs to look out for and to not stop pushing for an answer.
She added: “I’ve taken on this journey with an upbeat attitude and resilience.
“Don’t ignore the early signs, no matter how minor, as they can be something serious.
“Always seek a second, and if needed, a third opinion, as without that, I may not be here today to share my story.”