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Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims

A diagnosis of cancer can be one of the most devastating and impactful occurrences in any person’s life. This suffering can be furthered in situations where a misdiagnosis or late diagnosis occurs. Medical errors can mean that breast cancer diagnoses are made late or not made at all, which can enable cancer to progress with potentially fatal results.

If you have suffered from a breast cancer misdiagnosis, a knowledgeable and experienced solicitor would be pleased to assist you in attaining the compensation that you rightfully deserve. With a top quality service and an excellent reputation for securing the highest settlement awards possible, personal injury solicitors are recognised for their professional and empathetic approach to completing cases of this delicate nature.

To find out if you have a valid claim, call 0800 678 1410 today to arrange a free case assessment. This is an opportunity to discuss the specific details of your case with a specialist medical negligence solicitor, who will be able to determine if you may be entitled to claim compensation. This service is provided free of charge and without any pressure or obligation to proceed further.

If you do have a valid case and would like to go ahead, your solicitor will be happy to work for you on a no win no fee basis. This removes any financial risk from the claims process, as if they cannot win your case, you won’t pay a penny.

What is breast cancer and what are the symptoms?

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK, with 150 new cases diagnosed each day. Although more prominent with women (53,400 cases diagnosed in 2013), men can also suffer from breast cancer (340 cases in 2013). Women most at risk of developing breast cancer are those aged 65 and over, representing almost 50% of patients with the condition.

Cancer occurs when cells in the body develop in an abnormal way and become malignant. Breast cancer can be invasive or non-invasive. In latter instances, early diagnosis can allow for surgery to remove the cancer and survival is much more likely.

Invasive cancer is also referred to as invasive ductal carcinoma and in this form of the disease, the cancerous cells are found in the ducts of breast tissue. This form of cancer is often more aggressive and spreads to other parts of the body more rapidly. Again, swift diagnosis is essential for the best prognosis.

There are a number of symptoms which are closely associated with breast cancer. Some of the most common include:

  • Lumps in the breast
  • Changes in shape of the breast
  • Changes in the shape or colour of nipples
  • Bleeding or discharge from the nipple
  • Lumps or swellings in the armpit
  • Dimples on the skin of the breast
  • Rashes on the breast or nipple
  • Inverted nipples
  • Pains in the breast, nipples or armpit

When any of the above symptoms are presented to a doctor, thorough examinations should be carried out to hopefully rule out cancer. All UK medical practitioners are bound by the regulations of the General Medical Council, and this details that investigations, referrals and tests should be carried out swiftly and thoroughly. If this is not followed by your doctor, the chances of late or misdiagnosis increase and the prognosis can be detrimentally affected. If you have been the victim of a breast cancer misdiagnosis, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.

What causes breast cancer?

Although there is no single cause of breast cancer, there are a number of lifestyle factors that are closely related to the development of the disease. Some of the most common risk factors include:

  • Age – Women over the age of 50 are more susceptible to the risk of breast cancer, especially those who have gone through menopause.
  • Family History – Those who have a family history of breast cancer have an increased risk of developing the disease themselves. The majority of breast cancer cases are not hereditary. There are particular genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, that increase the threat, and these genes can be passed down from parent to child.
  • Oestrogen Exposure – Research suggests that oestrogen can enhance the growth of breast cancer cells, and so those who have been exposed to the hormone excessively have an increased risk of developing the condition. Early menopause and starting periods early are common causes of extra oestrogen exposure, and your doctor should be more vigilant in assessing you for signs of cancer.
  • Previous Diagnosis of Breast Cancer – those who have already suffered from breast cancer are at an increased risk of developing the disease again. Doctors of patients who have had the condition in the past should be more vigilant in assessing patients for warning signs and early symptoms of the redevelopment of breast cancer.

Am I entitled to make a claim for compensation?

The General Medical Council regulates the practice of medicine in all UK hospitals, GP surgeries and other medical establishments by setting out the acceptable standards and levels of care and treatment. If you believe that your doctor has not met the acceptable standards of care towards you, has provided a wrong diagnosis or a late diagnosis, and this has had a detrimental impact on your recovery or symptoms, you may be entitled to make a medical negligence claim.

With the support of a review from an oncologist, your solicitor will be able to demonstrate that your doctor should have diagnosed your cancer sooner, requested tests and investigations more readily or that appropriate assessment, treatment or care was not provided to you. The oncologist can help to map when cancer should have been diagnosed, and the development of the disease from then to your actual diagnosis. If the doctor’s failings have had a detrimental affect on you, you should be entitled to claim compensation.

Unfortunately, misdiagnosis of breast cancer can lead to the spread of the disease to other body parts and can cause avoidable suffering and harm to the patient. Medical negligence solicitors are experienced and skilled in proving liability and attaining the highest levels of compensation available to you.

How much compensation could I win?

Compensation for clinical negligence, as with all personal injury claims, is decided on a case by case basis. The amount awarded can be broken down into two distinct parts:

  • General damages – this is an amount that reflects the physical and emotional harm that has been caused by the negligence you have faced. In simple terms, the more significant and damaging the injury or illness is, the higher the compensation should be.
  • Special damages – this is an award of compensation based on any financial losses that can be attributed to your cancer misdiagnosis. This includes lost earnings from being unable to work, the cost of any medications or treatments required and transport costs going back and forth from medical appointments.

If you would like to find out if you have a possible case, call 0800 678 1410 today for a free initial consultation. This is a free, confidential and pressure free chat with an experienced solicitor who can assess the details of your particular case. As well as finding out if you have a valid claim, it is also a chance to ask any questions that you might have and receive an estimate of the compensation that you could be entitled to.