'Preparing for disfigurement': Waiting for cancer surgery in BC gives nurse's tumor time to grow |  Globalnews.ca

‘Preparing for disfigurement’: Waiting for cancer surgery in BC gives nurse’s tumor time to grow | Globalnews.ca

A British Columbia woman who has been waiting for months for a cancer treatment plan finally has a surgery date on December 1.

However, due to the delay in getting that date and a treatment plan in place, Fayra Krueger now faces the loss of her right ear and permanent disfigurement.

A registered nurse, Krueger had a grape-sized tumor removed from her ear in June.

“I was told we had clear margins, so about five weeks after that…I noticed my lymph nodes on the same side were quite swollen, so I went to see my family doctor,” a- she told Global News. “It was the first week of August and started the process of what had become metastasized skin cancer.”

His surgery date is still a week and a half away.

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“From when I was diagnosed with stage 3 metastatic cancer to when I had surgery four months ago,” Krueger said.

Click to play video: 'B.C. cancer patient frustrated with health system delays'

BC cancer patient frustrated with health system delays

“The cancer has grown and progressed so much in these four months that what I was initially told would be an overnight stay in hospital and a fairly simple surgery has now turned into a three to five days,” she added. ”

“I may lose my whole ear, maybe part of my jawbone. Ten days ago I had four teeth pulled from radiation. I may also lose function in my facial nerves, which would be my sense of smell, my sense of taste and my movement I can lose my smile, my ability to smile.

“And the pain is quite significant now, it’s a continuous pain.”

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British Columbia registered nurse shares health care response to cancer diagnosis

Krueger said she was still trying to figure out what might happen

“Mostly because it could have been avoided,” she said. “That’s the key and that’s the message I want people to hear, it wasn’t necessary, you know. If I had been offered the treatment within a reasonable timeframe.

Krueger said her understanding is that referrals to BC Cancer usually take about two weeks and she waited a few months.

“I work in the system, so I know there are significant systemic delays in health care right now,” she said. “But to be honest with you, stage 3 cancer, I thought I would be a higher priority.

“I thought that even with the lack of resources, I would still benefit from some kind of expedited procedure, because now I’m going to be dealing with significant disfigurement, not to mention the complications of such major surgery.”

In a statement to Global News on Monday, Dr. Kim Nguyen Chi, BC Cancer’s chief medical officer, said he could not discuss specific details of a case due to patient confidentiality.

“Regional health authorities perform the majority of cancer-related surgeries, with the exception of BC Cancer – Vancouver, which performs a limited number of surgeries for breast cancer, minor oncology surgeries and gynecological surgeries,” it said. he said in a statement. “The operating room also performs brachytherapy, endoscopies and bronchoscopies.

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“Patients referred to BC Cancer for PET/CT are triaged based on a number of factors. These factors may include: type of cancer, location of disease, clinical stage, impact on clinical management. »

He said wait times for PET/CT scan results can vary, but the majority of people wait 28 days or less, with urgent cases waiting less than 14 days on average.

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Health Minister Adrian Dix said on Monday that the way to address the backlog in cancer surgeries would be to hire more oncologists, add more surgeries and more team staff.

“So in the last two budgets there have been significant new investments in cancer, which we’re going to build on with a 10-year cancer plan,” he said.

Dix said more staff had been hired.

“Additionally, in terms of scans, we have added new PET/CT scanning capability, which previously only existed in Metro Vancouver, Kamloops and Victoria,” he said.

But for Krueger, she must now understand what will happen on December 1.

“We are failing. We let the public down,” she said.

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“It’s hard, I have a fairly young daughter so I’m trying to prepare her.

“I’m just preparing for this disfigurement and hoping when I get out that I can literally smile again.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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