Gran aims for first marathon after gruelling throat cancer battle

A throat and tongue cancer sufferer was told by a medic to ‘gargle TCP’ before being diagnosed with the deadly illness.

Victoria Workman, 57, was left outraged by the dismissive comment made by a consultant as she battled horrific pain in her throat and mouth.

The retired children’s work manager recalled how the same medic told her off for wasting time when she sought help at the Accident and Emergency unit back in 2012.



Now, gran-of-two Victoria is training to run her first marathon in a bid to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of throat cancer.

Victoria, of Worthing, said: “Seven years ago I realised something was wrong, so my mum insisted I go to A&E to get it seen to.

“I kept choking and I had this awful cold which just wouldn’t shift and my mouth was in a lot of pain.

“There was a very nasty consultant there said I shouldn’t be going to A&E for something as minor as a sore throat.

“He told me to gargle some TCP and sent me on my way.

“Just after that I went for two scans and the other doctor said it was apparent that I had throat and mouth cancer.”

Victoria spoke out about her ordeal after she raised a complaint against the NHS England service through fear that other throat cancer sufferers would be treated in the same “unprofessional manner.”



During her illness, she was forced to undergo horrific radiotherapy treatment every day for six weeks, something which left her violently ill.

She found out she had a grade-two cancer at the base of her tongue caused by HPV, which she was told had probably spread through open-mouthed or French kissing.

The married mum-of-two believes that all too often throat cancer patients are encouraged to ignore the symptoms until it is too late.

She said: “It was obviously very scary but I’m a very strong woman and I’m the type of person that will speak up about these things.

“The NHS asked me if I was going to sue them and I said, of course not, the NHS needs every penny it gets – I just wanted them to get more training so this doesn’t ever happen to anyone else.

“The treatment was very grim and very painful but I realise how lucky I am.

“That’s why I’m determined to do something big to raise money for the Throat Cancer Foundation.”

The grandmother is in the process of securing a place to run the gruelling 26-mile Virgin 2020 marathon on her own in April next year.

She is planning on wearing her favourite pearl necklace while taking part in the race to remind her of the fact she’s beaten throat cancer.

She continued: “I wanted to do something that was really going to challenge me because I have no fear so that’s why I chose the marathon.

“Every time I go out running I suck in as much oxygen as I can through my mouth.

“I can feel the air on my scar tissues and it’s a reminder of how far I’ve come.”


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