Woman, 39, reveals she had a complete hysterectomy to save her life after doctors mistakenly took her womb cancer for gluten intolerance and recommended she ‘eat yoghurt’
- Dafina Malovska, 39, saw GP four times in four months due to bloating in 2014
- Symptoms were dismissed as gluten intolerance and she was told to eat yoghurt
- Eventually saw private a gynaecologist who found half-kilo lump on her uterus
- Underwent complete hysterectomy in order to save her life following diagnosis
A woman has revealed how she was forced to undergo a total hysterectomy after doctors mistook her womb cancer for gluten intolerance.
Dafina Malovska, 39, who lives in Surrey, visited her GP four times in four months after she noticed bloating in 2014.
Without examining her abdomen, Dafina was sent to a gastroenterologist to have her stomach checked, who found no problems and told her to ‘eat probiotic yoghurt’.
However by the time doctors had found her stage two cancer, it had already spread to her ovaries and she was forced to undergo a total hysterectomy in order to save her life.
Dafina Malovska, 39, who lives in Surrey, (pictured) was forced to undergo a total hysterectomy when doctors mistook her womb cancer for gluten intolerance
She is now campaigning for annual female health check ups to catch symptoms early so other women do not suffer the same ordeal as she did.
She told the Mirror: ‘I was so scared I was going to die that I didn’t really have time to think about the children I’d never have. It was later, while I was recovering, that it hit me.’
After noticing bleeding between her periods, Dafina booked in to see a private gynaecologist while in Macedonia for her sister’s birthday.
She had a transvaginal ultrasound, where the gynaecologist discovered she had a half-kilo tumour on her uterus, which she had removed four days later.
She is now campaigning for annual female health check ups to catch symptoms early so other women do not suffer the same ordeal as she did
But after discovering the stage two cancer had spread to her ovaries, Dafina was forced to have a total hysterectomy.
Dafina discussed with her surgeon the option of freezing her eggs, but her rare form of Leiomyosarcoma cancer meant the cancerous cells may need oestrogen to grow and this was not an option.
WHAT IS LEIOMYOSARCOMA?
Leiomyosarcomas are cancers that develop in a type of muscle tissue called smooth muscle.
These muscles are found in the walls of muscular organs like the heart and the stomach.
They are rare and usually only affect people over the age of 50, but they can start anywhere in the body.
They most commonly start in the walls of the womb, the limbs and the digestive system.
People with early leiomyosarcoma often have no symptoms until the later stages of cancer.
Late-stage symptoms include include a lump or swelling, abdominal bloating, swelling or pain and a change in menstruation.
‘I cried a lot’, she said, ‘I was also scared no man would ever want to be with me’.
However Dafina has since met boyfriend Ashton and after six months together the pair are engaged.
A total hysterectomy that removes ovaries means women will experience the menopause immediately after the operation, regardless of age.
Dafina opened up about the struggles she’s faced with early menopause, battling hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings and lower bone density.
In a blog for the Lady Garden Foundation, she wrote: ‘Since that day I’m not able to have my own children and after the operation I was put into immediate surgical menopause.
‘It’s been 4 years since then and every day I have to deal with the consequences of early menopause, such as: hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness and osteopenia (lower bone density).
‘I am only 39!’
However Dafina is grateful to be alive, and urged women and girls in the UK to have regular check ups to prevent late detection.
She wrote: ‘But I am happy that I am still alive and I can share my story with you.
‘What happened to me I wouldn’t want to happen to anyone else and especially as this can be prevented simply if detected earlier.
‘Sadly, more and more often we hear that women and girls in the UK are diagnosed too late with some type of Gynaecological cancer.’
Dafina has now launched an online petition, backed by MPs, calling for annual gynaecological checks.