Breast Cancer misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis compensation claims
Cancer has an enormous impact, both in terms of the number of people affected by it and the individual impact it has on people with cancer and those close to them. More than 300,000 new cancers (excluding skin cancers) are diagnosed annually in the UK, across over 200 different cancer types.
Breast cancer continues to be a disease with tremendous public health significance. Primary prevention of breast cancer is still not available, so efforts to promote early detection continue to be the major focus in fighting breast cancer.
There are two major types of delay
- Patient delay is delay in seeking medical attention after self-discovering a potential breast cancer symptom.
- System delay is delay within the health care system in getting appointments, scheduling diagnostic tests, receiving a definitive diagnosis, and initiating therapy.
Research shows delay in the diagnosis of breast cancer in symptomatic women of three months or more is associated with advanced stage and low survival.
Typically breast cancer presents itself as a lump in the breast. Although it is said 90% of the lumps are not cancerous, women and men are encouraged to have them checked by their GP.
For further information on signs and symptoms see:
Reasons for missed breast cancer or delayed diagnosis
There may be many reasons why this may occur:
- Failure to carry out adequate consultation to include physical examination and obtaining adequate history from the patient such as family history or note symptoms such as changes to skin on breast, such as puckering or dimpling
- failure to advise a patient to report any observed changes.
- failure to refer for diagnostic investigations.
- failure to refer to a breast cancer specialist for opinion within two weeks if you are aged over 50 or over and have changes to one of your nipples, such as discharge or inverted or, if you are aged 30 or over and have a lump in your breast that is not caused by anything else.
- failure to consider referral for any patient aged 30 and over that has lumps in their armpit caused by swollen glands. If the GP does not think these are caused by anything else, an appointment to see a cancer specialist to check for breast cancer within two weeks should be considered.
- misinterpretation of radiology images (screening or symptomatic mammogram, ultrasound, or MRI).
- inadequate fine-needle aspiration biopsy.
- incorrect diagnosis.
- surgical excision of lump without pathological examination.
- misreporting of histopathology slides.
- failure to read report from investigations.
A delayed diagnosis may cause:
- Increase in size of cancer mass
- spread of cancer to surrounding tissue
- more complicated treatment
- poorer prognosis
In addition to missed diagnosis or delayed diagnosis, our team specialise in negligence claims where breast cancer treatment plans have been negligently provided.
If you would like to discuss making a claim for compensation as a result of a delayed cancer diagnosis, misdiagnosis or a failure to provide the recommended standard of cancer care please call our Clinical and Medical Negligence lawyers on Freephone 0808 164 0808 for a FREE, no obligation chat, or complete the request a call back form and we will call you.
If the matter is particularly sensitive and immediate assistance is required then we can arrange for one of our Clinical and Medical Negligence lawyers to meet you at the hospital or at home.