The mum and sister of a woman who has been diagnosed with incurable stage 4 cancer at the age of just 23 are urging other young women to check their breasts and be insistent with doctors if they feel something is not right.
Nail technician Tasmin Gooding, from Westgate, first found a lump in her breast last November. After seeing her doctor she was referred to the breast care unit and then was sent to Canterbury where needle biopsies were taken.
Mum Angela said: “She came out and said they had taken biopsies but were more concerned with a darkened area at the back of her nipple than with the lump. Then we got a letter saying it was hormonal and we were all happy about that.
“In February she had these neck pains and we assumed it was because of her job, where she bends over, and the doctor said it was nothing major.
“Everything was fine until August when I noticed she was losing weight. She was dieting but the weight was just falling off her.”
Angela, who herself was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, said at first she thought maybe Tasmin wasn’t eating properly after moving into her own place and was possibly depressed although she later realised she could see her daughter’s collarbone sticking out due to the weight loss.
Angela said: “Then Tasmin phoned me to say she had found another lump in her armpit.”
A GP appointment was followed by an ultrasound and a biopsy and then Tasmin was sent for a mammogram.
Tasmin was called in to the hospital and then that meeting was brought forward and moved to the last slot of the day. Angela said: “They said to bring someone with her so we knew it wouldn’t be good.”
The consultant said she had breast cancer but it was treatable. But sadly the diagnosis would rapidly deteriorate.
Angela said: “Tasmin then had to have a PET scan and then there was another meeting with the consultant. They said there were dark masses on her spine. She had an MRI and then they said the cancer was grade 4 and incurable.”
The spread to Tasmin’s spine means it has started to disintegrate and she has to undergo an operation for that before she can begin chemotherapy. That treatment, which was also delayed because Tasmin caught covid, is aimed at extending life but cannot eradicate the disease which has also spread into her neck and pelvis.
Angela says she feels if a mammogram was carried out on Tasmin’s first visit the outcome could have been different, especially given the family history with breast cancer.
She added: “But now she is on palliative care.”
Tasmin’s sister Jo said: “Young women need to check their breasts and mammograms need to be given to younger women. If you find something, stand your ground, we believe Tasmin should have had a mammogram much earlier.”
A fundraiser that was set up by Tasmin’s friend and work colleague Jasmin Finch, owner of Enhance Thanet beauty & aesthetics, was initially to buys items such a pyjamas and toiletries to help make having treatment more comfortable.
Sadly, it is now raising funds to pay for Tasmin’s bucket list.
Jo said: “When Tasmin has finished chemo she wants to do her bucket list while she is still well enough. She wants to take the whole family to Florida, she wants to go to Hawaii and help the turtles, she wants to travel.
“It’s so hard but she’s doing so well staying strong. She wants to make the most of life and we want to help her fulfil her bucket list.”
The fundraiser initially had a £2000 target but donations have now reached £12,204.
Let down by the NHS. Years and years of cuts to services and the pressure of COVID19 has let Tasmin and her family down. My thoughts are with Tasmin and her family. Please, if you or anyone in the family needs support please call 0300 302 0178 and speak to the team!
What a terribly frightening sequence of events for you Tamsin.
I am sure your family are giving you all the support they can.
I wish you the very best and I am sure the palliative care will make you as comfortable as possible.
I wish you love and courage for your treatment. Shocking story. Really sad.
This is terribly sad for Tamsin and for her family but please do not assume negligence by her doctors. Ultrasound and biopsy are the correct tests to identify breast cancer. Young womens’ breast tissue is much more dense than post menopausal womens’ making a mammogram extremely difficult to read. This is the reason breast screening starts at 50. Private mammograms for young women are largely a waste of money. Young women with a family history of breast cancer should instead ask for genetic testing.
This is so incredibly sad. But, having said that, I hope you have the most amazing time fulfilling all the plans on your bucket list. Have an absolute ball between the treatments and appointments. Good luck, and I hope the chemo etc keep you well as long as possible. My mum has had stage 4 incurable cancer for 12 years. Every time they seem to run out of options a new treatment appears which prolongs her life. She’s had cyberknife on so many tumors and immunotherapy too, which are both groundbreaking new treatments so make sure you get referred to the Royal Marsden if you can. That’s where all the newest tech and gene therapies are being developed. She has brilliant quality of life and I hope you do too xx
So sad, my heart goes out to her! But there is still hope, I will be 80 next birthday if I am spared, and was swimming a mile every other day for over 20 years, then about 6 years ago I developed a bad cough, and was told by my GP I had Swimming Induced Asthma! I was given several inhalers, but over the next 3 years the cough got worse, so I was sent for more intense investigation!
Some weeks later I was sent a letter from my GP Practice saying to make an appointment to see the COPD Nurse, which I did, and she said my Respiratory Consultant had recommended a different inhaler. When she went off to get one, I sneaked a look at the nurses computer and saw an email dated 6 weeks earlier from my Respiratory Consultant saying I had two life threatening lung diseases, Emphysema, and Pulmonary Fibrosis, both incurable!
When the nurse returned I asked her for a copy of my Respiratory Consultants email, and she asked me why did I want it? I said I think I am old enough to know what lung diseases I had! She reluctantly printed off a copy of the email, and I wrote to the practice manager, and asked why no one was going to tell me I had two life threatening lung diseases, but was going to say I just had COPD! The practice manager wrote back and said they didn’t have time to explain Consultants diagnosis to patients! That was the same answer I got from my GP when I saw him face to face!
In fact its still going on, I know several people who have told me they have COPD, and when I ask them what type of lung disease do they have, they don’t know! This is disgraceful, and I contacted the Care Quality Commission, who carried out an investigation, and I now understand NICE have changed their recommendations, and say that patients with lung diseases MUST now be informed what it is, and not just be told they have COPD, which is a meaningless term! So, if your told you have COPD ask what does the D stand for, because it means Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, of which there are several! This is for the information of everyone, because GP’s and the NHS are not infallible, and Kathy if I have mentioned it before, it needs to stated again, to give some hope to people who may have been treated the same! I am still riding a bike, and use a Cross Trainer twice a day, so keep on keeping on!
Not sure exactly what people are supposed to be protecting-they send people with serious conditions out of surgeries & A&E telling them nothing is wrong, ignore people’s concerns, family histories, needlessly letting babies die & then covering it up/telling lies/not implementing recommendations etc.
Currently, despite the vast majority of people being vaccinated, GP’s are still for the most part refusing face to face appointments & hiding behind webcam appointments-despite several of the GP’s surgeries sending some of their doctors to the vax centre-where they did nothing but come into contact with unvaxed people for months. Were we not promised something of a return to normality if you ‘did your part’ & got jabbed? More lies from the government & NHS.