A UK father dismissed his hearing problems as a "cold" for more than two years before discovering he was suffering a rare type of nose cancer that was attacking his skull.
According to Nine News, father-of-three Ben Wilkinson, 42, had suffered partial deafness.
"I had always had problems with my hearing," he explained. "Every time I got a cold my right ear got infected, but I never thought anything of it.
"I had been to the doctors but as I always had had a cold it was dismissed as mucus from the cold."
He had been ignoring the symptoms since 2016. However, when the shift worker from Gloucester eventually underwent an MRI scan after visiting his GP for a hearing test in September 2017, doctors told him he had a four-centimetre tumour at the base of his skull.
Mr Wilkinson underwent a two-and-a-half hour operation in May, but doctors couldn’t remove the tumour because it was too close to critical nerves.
The father said he has been left devastated as the National Health Service declined his application for potentially life-saving proton beam therapy. The agency has refused to tell him the reason he is unfit for treatment despite many calls and emails, he said.
Without the treatment, there is a 50 per cent chance of the cancer returning.
An NHS England spokesperson said: “The NHS does fund proton beam therapy in this country and internationally where top doctors say it is advantageous, but it is not always clinically appropriate or a better treatment than other options already available on the NHS.”