Woman misdiagnosed with stress by her GP now faces life without her leg as she battles cancer

A 32-year-old woman, who was told by a doctor she had hives due to work stress, was shocked to be diagnosed with cancer – and had to have her left leg amputated

  • Mitera Balkaran, 32, noticed a small painless bump on her leg and went to her GP
  • The mechanical engineer in Belgium was misdiagnosed with hives due to stress
  • However, she had soft tissue sarcoma and had to have her leg amputated.

A woman who was told she had hives from work stress was shocked to learn she had cancer which led to the amputation of her left leg.

Mitera Balkaran, 32, was working as a mechanical engineer in Belgium when she was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma in 2021, after developing a lump in her leg that was getting bigger and bigger.

Mitera first noticed a small painless bump on her leg and went to her local GP.

She was told it was just hives from work stress, until six weeks later she noticed the lump had grown and she had lost feeling in that leg.

Mitera Balkaran, 32 (pictured), was misdiagnosed with stress-induced hives by her GP  By the time she was diagnosed with cancer, she had just two weeks to decide whether to have her leg amputated.

Mitera Balkaran, 32 (pictured), was misdiagnosed with stress-induced hives by her GP By the time she was diagnosed with cancer, she had just two weeks to decide whether to have her leg amputated.

She decided to see another GP and after an ultrasound and MRI was told she had a form of soft tissue sarcoma called High Grade Undifferentiated Pleomorphic Sarcoma (UPS).

Mitera was diagnosed in August 2021 and was able to beat him initially, until he was told the cancer had returned in May 2022.

As her cancer had returned, Mitera needed extreme treatment to fight it off again, including aggressive chemotherapy, lung surgery and perhaps most upsetting, the amputation of her leg.

Mitera said, “I was in shock. I went to the consultation with worst-case scenarios in my head, but amputation was never an idea I had.

Mitera was working as a mechanical engineer in Belgium when she was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma in 2021. She is pictured here after her amputation

Mitera was working as a mechanical engineer in Belgium when she was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma in 2021. She is pictured here after her amputation

She noticed a small, painless lump in her leg, which after six weeks got bigger and bigger.  She first beat cancer in August 2021 but was told it returned in May 2022

She noticed a small, painless lump in her leg, which after six weeks got bigger and bigger. She first beat cancer in August 2021 but was told it returned in May 2022

“I was able to keep a straight face, but burst into tears as soon as I got home from the date.”

After a few days, Mitera decided to fight cancer and enjoy the last days she had with her two legs.

Her husband took her to Greece and the couple practiced activities that will never be the same again without both legs.

Mitera adds: “It was a roller coaster of emotions for me. I kept looking at everyone’s legs and thinking how lucky they were.

Mitera and her husband Konstantine (pictured) decided to go on holiday to Greece and take part in activities that would never be the same without both legs, including swimming in the ocean and taking long walks

Mitera and her husband Konstantine (pictured) decided to go on holiday to Greece and take part in activities that would never be the same without both legs, including swimming in the ocean and taking long walks

Mitera is pictured here with friends after her amputation.  She wonders if her GP had diagnosed her correctly from the start, would she still have her leg

Mitera is pictured here with friends after her amputation. She wonders if her GP had diagnosed her correctly from the start, would she still have her leg

A scan of Mitera's leg showing the tumor.  His next steps will be an 18-week aggressive chemotherapy regimen, followed by surgery to remove tumors that have spread.

A scan of Mitera’s leg showing the tumor. His next steps will be an 18-week aggressive chemotherapy regimen, followed by surgery to remove tumors that have spread.

“I swam in the ocean on the last day of the trip and walked as much as I could.”

Thinking back to her first trip to the GP, she wonders if if she had been taken seriously, she would still have her leg today.

She explains, “I started documenting my journey on TikTok to leave my memories behind in case I died.

“I also realized there wasn’t enough sarcoma content, so that was my motivation as well.

“People think everything will be back to normal for me and that’s not true at all.

“I will create a new normal for myself, but it will never be the same normal again that I have had for the past 32 years.”

Mitera’s next steps will be an 18-week regimen of aggressive chemotherapy, followed by surgery to remove tumors that have spread all over his body, including in his lungs.

After recovery, she can then begin rehabilitation of her leg and practice using a prosthetic leg.

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