My daughter was told she was “too young” for colon cancer

A mother has opened up about her devastation after her daughter died less than a year after doctors told her she was “too young” to have colon cancer.

Amelia “Millie” Grace was just 24 when she lost her life to the disease 10 months after being finally diagnosed.



Amelia “Millie” Grace was just 24 when she died of colon cancer
Mother Therese says she was


Mother Therese says she was “fobbed off” by doctors who refused to test her properly because of her age

Her mother Therese, who lives in Cornwall, says her age meant doctors missed early warning signs of the disease.

Although Millie repeatedly visited her GP after bleeding while using the toilet, she “was never tested for colon cancer,” Therese said.

A series of scans for stomach pains led medics to find cysts on her ovaries, but an operation to remove them in 2020 was called off when Covid struck.

During the first lockdown, Millie’s symptoms worsened.

Deborah James' family give an update as she has one last girls sleepover
A recent sleepover with my daughter made me smile, says Deborah James

Therese said: “She was tired. Her stomach was swollen.

“She could feel lumps and bumps on her stomach.”

Millie was finally diagnosed in December of the same year when she finally had surgery.

Horrified, surgeons discovered she had stage four cancer that had spread to her liver and ovaries.

She died in October 2021.

“Millie said, ‘Am I going to die?’ and the doctor replied: ‘It’s quite possible, yes’, but said in the same breath: ‘But it’s rare in someone your age,'” Therese said.

The mum has decided to speak out about colon cancer after Dame Deborah James revealed she is now being treated at home in hospice in her own battle with the disease.

Millie’s primary tumor was 18cm when she was diagnosed. However, she took a 12-week break from chemotherapy in July 2021 after showing signs of improvement.

However, after only three weeks of respite, she began to feel unwell.

“She lay in her bed, it wasn’t like Millie,” Therese said.

“By September she was still in a lot of pain. She’s been back and forth from A&E.


“They did another scan in September and that’s when the doctor said her cancer was significantly advanced.”

Millie initially refused to go to a hospice for pain treatment as she was afraid of dying – but she ended up in such agony that she eventually agreed to stay.

“The Mets [metastatic tumours] in her liver and ovaries had grown back, and more meads were in her lungs, bones and stomach lining,” Therese said.

“She was admitted to Marie Curie Hospice on September 26 for pain treatment. However, during that short time, the cancer spread to her skin and brain.

“It’s like the cancer just took over. He was so aggressive.

“She didn’t stand a chance.”

Weeks later, Millie died in Therese’s arms.

I put her in my arms and told her how much I loved her and how proud I was of her

“She was getting more and more tired,” Therese said.

“About an hour before she died they got me a bed and I came in next to her and just put my arms around her and talked to her.

“I told her how much I love her and how proud I am of her.”

She said she believes Millie could have been saved if doctors had tested for colon cancer sooner.

She urged others who are concerned to “check your poo.”

“You can go to the doctor at any age and ask for a FIT test to rule out colon cancer. Be confident, you’re not too young,” she said.

“That’s Millie’s legacy, that’s what she wanted – that young people wouldn’t be fobbed off like she was.”

For more information or to donate to Therese’s campaign, visit

Therese has urged anyone with concerns about their health to see their GP and urge for proper testing


Therese has urged anyone with concerns about their health to see their GP and urge for proper testing My daughter was told she was “too young” for colon cancer

Sarah Y. Kim

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