Newlywed tragically dies after being told cancerous lump on leg was just fat

A woman has died after being told by a doctor that a cancerous tumour was just a fat lump.

Gemma Malins, 28, tied the knot with her "soulmate" after two weeks of planning, following her eventual diagnosis of metastatic melanoma.

She was advised not to worry about a growth on her thigh when she visited her GP for a professional opinion, two-and-a-half years ago.

They said not to worry, as was the case again three months later, despite the lump by then growing to "the size of a tennis ball".

"Another had grown on my breast," Gemma from New Zealand added at the time.

It was only when she visited a different doctor later in 2019 that she was referred to a specialist.

And, after a three-month wait due to insurance issues, she was then formally diagnosed – with a metastatic melanoma.

"It had spread throughout my whole body," Gemma told the NZ Herald.

More than NZ$56,000 (£28,830) was raised to support Gemma in April, when she decided to try Ipilimumab, an antibody treatment that helps bolster the immune system.

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But, after multiple attempts, the treatment was not successful – and Gemma passed away last week.

New Zealand is currently in lockdown, which means a funeral has not been held yet, The Mirror reports.

Gemma said previously that funded immunotherapy called Keytruda initially stabilised the melanoma.

But, after a year, the cancer spread again – which is when she decided to marry her partner in an impromptu ceremony.

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The couple were married at Duders Beach, east of Beachlands, a suburb of Auckland.

And she said: "Brandon gave up his whole life for me, his job as a beekeeper. He's my hero.

"He's amazing, he's been with me for every blood test, every needle, every pain, every good and bad day."

Fundraising pages were set up to help with Gemma's treatment and to give her the chance to tick off her bucket list.

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But, while some of the activities were achieved, it was difficult to tick them all off due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns.

Pastor Neil Hamilton of Beachlands Baptist Church said of Gemma’s death that she had gone through a "long and hard-fought battle".

He told Stuff that her passing had been devastating because of New Zealand’s tough level 4 restrictions.

"There’s a cruelty to it. There’s no closure for the family," he added.

"She was loved by a lot of people."

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