University professor, 37, dies from lung cancer after string of doctors dismissed symptoms as ‘anxiety and depression’


‘For the last year I’d been battling a range of bizarre and seemingly disparate symptoms that had forced me in September 2011 to go on sick leave from my job as a lecturer (assistant professor).

‘The diagnosis at the time was anxiety and/or depression. And while I was both anxious and depressed, this was due to the increasingly disabling symptoms that my doctor kept insisting were purely psychological.

‘So I was actually grateful for a medical diagnosis that confirmed there were objective, physical reasons behind my illness.’

Cambridge-educated Dr Smirl, who was originally from Canada, wrote how she first experienced shortness of breath and wheezing in late 2010, which was wrongly diagnosed as asthma.



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