After being told that she was too young to have the disease, a 29-year-old doctor died of bowel cancer.
Dr. Suzanne Gould had been suffering from severe stomach pains for months. Doctors, however, initially told her that because she was so young, she could not be suffering from bowel cancer.
Instead, she was diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel condition.
Six months later, doctors finally caught their mistake: Gould had a massive tumor. She underwent emergency surgery and began what would be an 18-month battle against cancer.
“When she was diagnosed with a tumor, it was devastating but equally frustrating that we hadn’t known sooner,” Gould’s brother, Rob, said.
Gould spent months in the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, where she underwent regular chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. She also received treatments in Medway Maritime Hospital; towards the end of her fight with the disease, she was cared for in St. Catherine’s Hospice in Crawley.
In March, mere weeks after doctors told her that her condition had become terminal, Gould passed away.
“It was a huge shock when we discovered it was terminal,” Rob, 30, said. “But throughout it all, Suzanne was bright and upbeat. She was that kind of person, wanting to help others and stay strong for her family.”
Now, Rob is helping to raise awareness and funds for cancer prevention by participating in a 3km fun run for World Cancer Research Fund.
Gould had been a case study for Bowel Cancer UK presentation at the Houses of Parliament because, as Rob described, “she wanted to help with research and education.”
“Suzanne didn’t just focus on herself when she was ill,” Rob said, noting that his sister had “handled her treatment with dignity and bravery.”
He added that his sister “wanted to raise awareness in young people that you can never be too young to have bowel cancer.”
“We now need to continue her legacy and this run is all about raising awareness about the condition and helping to collect much needed money for cancer prevention research,” Rob said.
Bowel cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the UK.
Gould is survived by her husband, Dr. Simon Gould.