Cancer-stricken mother, 42, dies after doctors dismissed her heavy periods that left her in agony: Disease was only spotted five years after symptoms began

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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A mother-of-two whose terminal cancer was missed after medics dismissed her unusually heavy periods has died.

Kelly Pendry, 42, from North Wales, first developed worrying symptoms — which included being in a ‘lot of pain’ — in 2016.

It would later be discovered she had an aggressive, and ultimately deadly, form of cancer in her uterus, with doctors only spotting it after it had become terminal. 

But medics initially made her feel ‘like a drama queen’, recommending she instead go on the pill, have a coil fitted, or take antidepressants. 

One doctor even claimed Mrs Pendry’s heavy, prolonged periods were down to her body ‘normalising’ after pregnancy.

Kelly Pendry, 42, whose cancer symptoms were dismissed by medics back in 2016 has died, her family have confirmed 

Mrs Pendry (far right)wanted  to make memories for her children, Isla, 8, (left) and Sam, 10, (right) with the missed cancer having now spread to her lungs, chest and lymph nodes

Mrs Pendry (far right)wanted  to make memories for her children, Isla, 8, (left) and Sam, 10, (right) with the missed cancer having now spread to her lungs, chest and lymph nodes

Mrs Pendry, 42, with her husband Michael had another chance for the cancer to be spotted earlier taken away by the Covid pandemic after the operation which may have caught the tumour was cancelled

Mrs Pendry, 42, with her husband Michael had another chance for the cancer to be spotted earlier taken away by the Covid pandemic after the operation which may have caught the tumour was cancelled

She would later be diagnosed with fibroids, normally harmless growth in the uterus, and was scheduled in for a hysterectomy in 2020 to stop her symptoms.

But her operation was delayed due to the disruption of the Covid pandemic to the NHS. 

Then in 2021 she given the devastating news that one of the fibroids was actually a rare form of cancer — which had spread to her lungs, chest and lymph nodes.

In a post on Facebook, her husband Michael said his ‘amazing and beautiful wife’ died early on Sunday.

He added that she ‘fought until the very end, her spirit and strength was incredible as always.’

Speaking at the time of her diagnosis, Mrs Pendry said that it had inevitably left her wondering ‘what might have been’ if the disease had been spotted earlier.

Her cancer, called uterine leiomyosarcoma, affects approximately one to five out of every 1,000 women with fibroids. 

It is usually diagnosed by chance when a woman has a hysterectomy to remove the growths and they are then examined.

Even if caught early, only about half of women who develop the cancer live longer than five years. If not caught early, the odds of survival decrease rapidly. 

Leiomyosarcoma is a type of cancer which appears in smooth tissue found inside the body, such as the intestines, stomach, and in women, the uterus.

About 600 people in the UK are diagnosed with this cancer every year. 

Mrs Pendry vowed to make memories with her two children Sam (10) and Isla (8) in the aftermath of the diagnosis. 

She also wanted to warn other women who might be in her position to not be put off by medics dismissing worrying symptoms, and to demand further investigations. 

Kelly Pendry with her husband Michael who she described as her 'rock'

Writing in social media Mr Prendry said she 'fought until the very end, her spirit and strength was incredible as always'

Writing in social media Mr Prendry said she ‘fought until the very end, her spirit and strength was incredible as always’ 

‘I want people to know my story because fibroids are so common and I don’t want what’s happened to me to happen to anyone else,’ she previously said. 

Mr Pendry raised over £75,000 by conducting a 180mile run in a bid to get his wife treatment in the US to help prolong her life and make her more comfortable.

The treatment eventually went ahead in the UK, but Mr Pendry said the remaining funds will be donated to charity to help other people in his wife’s situation. 

Fibroids are a common growth made of muscle and fibrous tissue which appear in the wombs of about a third of women at some point in their lives.

They are relatively harmless but can cause discomfort and pain in some cases.

However, fibroids can develop into a rare form of cancer, as in Mrs Pendry’s case. 

Speaking in October 2021, while undergoing gruelling chemotherapy to extend her life, Mrs Pendry said she wanted to fight as long as she could to make memories with her family.

‘I want to be that person who beats all the odds, even if it just gives me more time to make memories with my family because they mean the word to me.’

‘My husband is my rock and I have two phenomenal kids so I’m determined to fight for them, no matter what it takes.’

Mrs Pendry was just one of millions of people in the UK whose surgery was delayed or cancelled due to the chaos of the Covid pandemic.

Data shows more than 1.5million NHS operations were cancelled or delayed in England in 2020, the first year of the pandemic.

What are fibroids and what is uterine leiomyosarcoma?  

Fibroids are a non-cancerous growth of muscle and fibrous tissue which develop in the wombs of about a third of women.

They can grow to the size of a pea or a melon. 

Who gets them? 

They are most common in women aged between 30 to 50-years-of-age.

They are also thought to be more common in women of African-Caribbean origin, as well as in women who are more overweight or obese.

Women who have children have a lower risk of developing fibroids with the risk decreasing per number of children.  

Why do they occur?

The exact cause is unknown but it is thought that the appearance of fibroids is linked to the reproductive hormone oestrogen.

What are the symptoms?

Most women who get fibroids will be unaware as only a third develop symptoms.

The symptoms can be heavy or painful periods, tummy pain, lower back pain, frequent need to urinate, constipation, or pain or discomfort during sex. 

What are the treatments for fibroids?

Generally only women who have symptoms with their fibroids will receive treatment.

In most cases medication is prescribed to either alleviate the symptoms or in more sever cases to shrink the fibroids. 

Surgery, like a hysterectomy to remove the womb, is generally only considered if symptoms are particularly severe and if medication has been ineffective.   

Are they dangerous?

Most fibroids are harmless and they shrink or disappear over time, particularly after menopause. 

However a very rare cancer can develop from fibroid. This is called uterine leiomyosarcoma.

This aggressive cancer is thought to only develop in about one to five out of every 1,000 women with fibroids.

It is mostly diagnosed after a biopsy of fibroids following a hysterectomy to treat the condition.

Even if caught early, half of women with the cancer will die within five years. 

If it spreads beyond the womb, than survival beyond five years becomes remote, with only 14 per cent of women living this long. 

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