A devastated family has claimed a young mother died after doctors failed to diagnose her cancer - despite being seen by medics more than FIFTY times.
Luisa Guerra, 35, first visited her local GP complaining of back pain but was sent home and told to take paracetamol.
The pain failed to go and she continued to visit the surgery over the course of three years, but, her family claim, was continually fobbed off and told she was suffering from "stress".
It was only when she paid for a private scan that the real reason for her deteriorating health became clear - she had tumours in her cervix, lymph nodes, back and neck.
She was finally diagnosed with cervical cancer but it was too late and, despite gruelling chemotherapy, the mum-of-two died aged 35.
Luisa's sister Diana, 22, is battling for justice and claims she "could have been saved" if doctors had acted quicker.
"They had more than 50 opportunities over six years to help her, but they never did. She was so young" - sister Diana Guerra
Diana said: "I am devastated that I lost my sister. Knowing that she would still be here today if doctors had taken her seriously makes me very angry.
"They had more than 50 opportunities over six years to help her, but they never did. She was so young."
Interior designer Luisa was just 29 when she started suffering from back pain, headaches and irregular bleeding.
Over the course of three years she visited her local doctors at City Way Surgery, in Rochester, Kent, but was diagnosed with early menopause and stress.
Her family say she was never offered a smear test by medics, despite all women over 25 being entitled to one on the NHS.
Finally, in 2010, Luisa, aged 31, paid £300 for a consultation at a private clinic where she was immediately diagnosed with cervical cancer.
In June 2011 she started a course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and by December was given the all clear.
But she was forced to return to City Way Surgery when her back pain began once more.
Incredibly, her family claim the same GPs again dismissed her symptoms and prescribed her morphine for the pain.
By the time she underwent a scan ten months later she was told she had a tumour the size of a tennis ball in her lymph nodes, as well as cancer in her neck and bowel.
This time there was nothing doctors could do, and Luisa died in February this year.
In a cruel twist of fate, Diana said the girls’ aunt Teresa Paiva, 43, visited the same surgery in January 2013 complaining of stomach pains and was simply told to "take vitamins".
She claims the mum of two begged doctors to help her for six months before she was diagnosed with gall stones and had an operation to remove them.
"Not only did I lose my best friend and sister at such a young age because of someone else’s negligence, but now the same thing appears to be happening again" - sister Diana Guerra
But Teresa's symptoms did not ease and more than a year after her first visit to the GP she found a lump in her breast.
Feeling let down by her local health service she flew out to Portugal, where she was born, and paid for private screening.
She was diagnosed with stage 3B breast cancer and is now being treated in Portugal.
Diana said: "Not only did I lose my best friend and sister at such a young age because of someone else’s negligence, but now the same thing appears to be happening again.
"I believe my sister and auntie didn’t get the correct care because it’s too expensive to send patients for MRIs and CT scans.
"I will fight with everything I have to get justice for my girls."
Luisa's family met bosses at the City Way Surgery to express their concerns but were told to put their complaints in writing.
An official complaint has now been made and will be investigated on October 27.
NHS England (Kent and Medway) said "We are sorry to learn of this very sad case. If NHS England receives a complaint of this nature we will always follow it up appropriately."
Stories you might have missed