FOR MONTHS, Natalie Blandford was told she had a toothache.
The pain was so bad that she went to see doctors and a dentist, but each time she was given antibiotics to treat an infection.
For months, several experts have missed the growth of the tumor on Natalie’s face, despite an X-ray in which her family said it was clearly visible.
Now, a year after first complaining of pain and trying to get an appointment, she is facing an incredibly rare cancer – stage 4 carcinoma of the sinuses – that cannot be cured. .
The 39-year-old started having severe pain in her mouth in January 2021.
Doctors assumed she had an infection and continued to give her antibiotics as the tumor grew.
Within months it had spread to his upper mouth, sinuses, eyes and nose and had become inoperable.
His mum, Gill, said: “I think it’s so scary right now, there are so many people being turned away, and for him [the dentist] not notice.
“All just for a toothache. If he had been caught sooner, they might have tried to cut him.
“But if they tried now, they said she would lose her eye, the top of her mouth.”
The 63-year-old former NHS worker is furious that she was missed and her daughter had to endure months of pain and treatment.
She said: “She’s been amazing, it’s so fake it goes back to January.
“She had a phone call with the doctor and they said you need to see a dentist.
“She couldn’t get one because of Covid, it took a while – but she was finally able to see a dentist in June.
“He said she needed an x-ray and she needed four teeth.
“We saw a copy of the x-ray and we can see the tumor – how he didn’t see that, I don’t know.
“Another doctor then did a biopsy of the teeth. So now it’s January to September, before anyone does anything for her.”
Nose and sinus cancer is a rare cancer that affects the nasal cavity and sinuses.
Gill, 63, takes Natalie to her grueling treatment at Addenbrookes Hospital every three weeks – a long drive from her home near Downham Market, Norfolk.
Natalie and her partner, Connie, who married at the end of last year, are staying for the duration of chemo after traveling from the Isle of Wight.
The former bus driver has one wish as she battles incurable cancer: to see her beloved West Ham United play.
She has followed the club faithfully since the age of five, but has never gone to see them play in person.
His family settled a Go Fund Me page to raise enough money for Natalie to see her team, but from the safety of a closed box, as her immune system is compromised.
Natalie’s cousin Anne said: “Nat is now on chemo to give him more time. When the chemo stops, everything will grow back aggressively.
“Nat was lucky enough to be able to marry the love of her life at the end of December, but she has one more wish: she wants to see West Ham United play.
“So here we are, to see if we can raise the money ourselves. We want to make Natalie’s wish come true.”
Amazingly, in less than a week, enough money was raised to send Natalie safely to football, with Anne enthusiastically telling donors “you all helped lift her up”.
The most common symptoms of nose and sinus cancer are:
- a stuffy nose that doesn’t go away and usually only affects one side
- nose bleeds
- a decrease in sense of smell
- mucus flowing from your nose – this may be bloody
- mucus draining down the back of your nose and throat
At a later stage, symptoms may include:
- pain or numbness in the face, especially in the upper part of the cheek, that does not go away
- swollen glands in the neck
- partial loss of vision or double vision
- a bulging eye
- a watery eye that won’t go away
- pain or pressure in one ear
- a persistent bump or growth on your face, nose, or palate