Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK, with more than 46,000 new cases being diagnosed every year. 11,500 of those tragically die. For some of these patients, their breast cancer should have been diagnosed more quickly.
So what action can you take if something like this has happened to you, or to a family member?
What options do you have, and in order to stop the same thing happening to others, should you claim for medical negligence compensation?
Got a question about a Medical Negligence Claim? Call our specialist solicitors on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE initial phone advice – with no strings attached
Negligence and Breast Cancer
Some of the most common situations which lead to someone claiming medical negligence for breast cancer include:
• Not diagnosing breast cancer from the patient’s symptoms and signs
• Delays in a breast cancer diagnosis
• Missing a breast cancer diagnosis when interpreting results from a scan
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) provides clear guidance to GPs about when they should arrange for a patient to be seen by a cancer specialist urgently. These include patients:
• Experiencing bloody discharge from nipples
• Who have had breast cancer in the past and who have discovered another lump or who have other symptoms
• Who have a distinct, separate, fixed and hard lump in the breast, either with or without skin dimpling
• Who are 30 or older and have a lump which is still there after their next period, or which appears after menopause
• Aged under 30 who have a lump which is getting bigger, or who have other factors associated with breast cancer such as a strong family history
• Who are men aged over 50, who find a firm lump in one breast, irrespective of changes in skin or the shape of the nipple
• Whose nipple shape has recently changed
Anyone falling into one of these categories should be seen by a specialist within two weeks.
Medical Negligence and Delays
Just over 10% of all women will be affected by breast cancer, but the outlook for many is good. Breast cancer can be treated in many cases, but the chances of any patient making a full recovery are much higher when the cancer is diagnosed while it is still in the earliest stages. Any delay in diagnosing breast cancer can lead to it spreading. This means more radical treatment, and can even prove fatal.
Early detection is why it is essential for GPs to pick up on the symptoms which could indicate breast cancer, and to refer patients onto a specialist. If this is not done, both the diagnosis and the treatment will be delayed, which could have a huge effect on the patient’s opportunity for a full recovery.
Do I Have Grounds for a Claim?
The starting point for a claim for medical negligence compensation is experiencing standards of care which are lower than you would expect from a medical professional. Any failure to diagnose or diagnosing the condition as something else can seriously hamper the patient’s chances of recovery.
If your GP hasn’t recognised your symptoms as potential indicators of breast cancer you may also have grounds for a claim. Had he ordered a full examination, a diagnosis may have been made which reduces the patient’s suffering.
In some cases, being slow to diagnose breast cancer or diagnosing it as something else can give the cancer time to spread into other parts of the body such as the bones. Getting a delay in breast cancer diagnosis wrong can cause much unnecessary pain and in some cases could even be a death sentence.
So if you or someone close to you has suffered as a result of a slow diagnosis of breast cancer, get in touch with a solicitor as soon as you can. You may well have grounds for a claim for medical negligence. Any doctor who doesn’t pick up on the signs of breast cancer and who fails to order further investigations may well have fallen short of expected standards of care. If so, then you could certainly have grounds to make a claim for medical negligence compensation.
Click here to read more about making a medical negligence claim
Your breast cancer medical negligence claim – the importance of a specialist solicitor
If you think you might be a victim of medical negligence, you could start by looking online, or asking friends or family to recommend someone.
But the easiest way of telling whether a solicitor specialises in this field is to check that they have either been accredited by the Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA) charity, or by the Law Society’s clinical negligence panel. According to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the total number of solicitors on the roll at the end of July 2019 was 195,952. And out of those only around 180 are on both of these highly specialist panels. The head of our medical negligence team, Denise Broomfield, is one of those.
So can tell by instructing us, you are going to get a genuine medical negligence specialist
WANT TO CLAIM COMPENSATION FOR BREAST CANCER MISDIAGNOSIS?
Don’t miss out on your chance to claim compensation for the negligence you suffered. There is only a short space of time in which to make your claim, so call us today to avoid losing out on the compensation you deserve.
Put your mind at rest and find out whether you’re entitled to compensation by calling us today
• Call FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or
• Or email our team for a call back convenient to you by completing the contact form below