Mother-of-three could face death sentence after doctors mistake orange-sized colon tumour for PILES
Mother has genetic condition that causes multiple polyps to grow in her colon. They can turn cancerous at any timeTumour has doubled in size since diagnosis but operation could be life-threateningGrowth could kill her by cutting off the main artery to her heartTwo of her children confirmed to having inherited the condition
15:12 GMT, 5 September 2012
A mother-of-three is facing a potential death sentence from an orange-sized tumour in her colon after doctors first said it was just piles.
Experts can’t predict how long Louise McLean, 38, will live because she has a tumour growing near her stomach which could cut off the main artery to the heart.
The mother from Nottingham, last night found out that the pioneering treatment called immunotherapy was no longer a possibility.
Louise McLean, 38, (right) says her future is uncertain after her tumour was first misdiagnosed with piles. She is a mother of three and is pictured with her youngest son James when he was three (left)
Louise during a Race for Life charity run with famliy and friends. She has an orange-sized tumour which isn't currently cancerous
Her tumour has been brought on by a rare condition she was diagnosed with two years ago known as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), which causes polyps to grow in the colon and, in rare cases, elsewhere in the body. If left untreated one or more will almost certainly develop into cancer.
At first doctors thought the tumour was just piles before making the deadly diagnosis.
The condition is hereditary and tests have already confirmed that two of her children, Beth, 14, and Cameron, 12, also have it. Her other son, James, five, is too young to be tested.
While the tumour is not cancerous at present, doctors prescribed her anti-cancer drugs in the hope that it would shrink, but to no avail. It is known as a desmoid tumour, which is extremely rare.
The former hairdresser had her hopes resting on immunotherapy but was last night told it wasn’t a possibility.
Louise, pictured in hospital after having key-hole surgery and with boyfriend Ian Rafferty in Scotland this year
Louise's inspiration: Her children Beth, 14, and Cameron, 12 and James 5 pictured a few years ago
She said: 'When I found out I sobbed my heart out. I had put so much resting on it.
'I was absolutely devastated and heartbroken. My kids are all that’s keeping me going. They’ve got to go through something similar so I’m trying to set an example for them.
'The tumour has already doubled in size but operating and taking it out would kill me. There’s a chance they could perform a bypass but the tumour would still be there.
'The last resort is for them to take everything out including my stomach. Then I’ll have to be on a feeding tube. It’s pretty scary.
'I first found out two years ago when I went to the doctors. They thought it was piles.
'I then had key-hole surgery and they realised I had a tumour. I need to be there for my kids and am willing to try anything to see if it would get rid of my tumour.
'If the tumour continues to grow I could be dead by the end of the year.'
Charles Maxwell-Armstrong, a Nottingham consultant colorectal surgeon, said FAP occurs in one in 15,000 people, and fewer than 900 people in the UK are diagnosed with desmoid tumours each year.