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Doctor diagnoses 23-year-old's cough as COVID-19. Turns out it's actually cancer, and she's lucky to be alive.

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A 23-year-old woman from the United Kingdom suffered a devastating cancer diagnosis after her doctor initially diagnosed her persistent cough as that of coronavirus.

What are the details?

Chloe Girardier, a caregiver for the elderly who lives in Harrogate, said that she developed a cough that refused to go away even when treated with antibiotics, inhalers, acid reflux tablets, and rest.

Girardier, according to the U.K.'s Mirror, was originally denied an in-person visit with her doctor and was instead diagnosed with COVID-19.

The cough persisted for several more months.

When she refused to receive an informal, over-the-phone diagnosis and pushed for an X-ray, her fears were confirmed: She had a cancerous mass inside her chest, measuring approximately four inches. She was soon diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"I had no lumps or any other noticeable signs apart from the continuous cough," she said. "When I started losing weight in October, that's when I really pushed for answers because it was noticeable to everyone around me."

She added, "I can't believe it wasn't looked into further, and if I hadn't pushed for the chest X-ray, I may still not have a diagnosis."

Girardier said that many doctors' offices refuse to book appointments for things that present as "just a cough" during the pandemic.

"Other illnesses exist, and a cough isn't just a sign of COVID," she added.

Girardier's intensive chemotherapy treatment is set to begin on Dec. 20.

"Now," she continued, "because I've been diagnosed so late, I'll have to have my chemotherapy a few days before Christmas. ... If doctors had found it quicker, I wouldn't need such intense chemo."

"This cancer could've been caught three months earlier and I'm just lucky it's this type of cancer, and not one that progresses really quickly," added Girardier, who hopes for a full recovery.

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