Breast cancer is one of the biggest worries among British women. According to statistics published by the NHS, it is the most common form of cancer in the UK: Around 48,000 women a year (most over the age of 50) are diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer in itself is a terrible ordeal and it’s important to have yourself checked by your GP for the signs of breast cancer to get an early diagnosis and aid your chances of a full recovery. However, in some cases, the pain and suffering of breast cancer can be made so much worse by a misdiagnosis.
How can a misdiagnosis happen?
Breast cancer can be detected in a number of ways including the use of an ultrasound mammogram and a biopsy. In some cases, a lump which appears on the breast tissue can be dismissed as benign, and this is particularly the case among younger women suffering from breast cancer. The opposite can also happen, where a benign tumour can be mistaken for malignant, causing the tissue to be mistakenly removed, the psychological effects of which can be devastating to a young woman.
Have there been any recorded examples of misdiagnosis of breast cancer?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes there have been. Accident Advice Helpline believes that the NHS does a sterling job and is staffed by professional and dedicated doctors and nurses, however the evidence in the case of the Royal Bristol Infirmary was damning.
Over 7,000 biopsies were reviewed, among which were several instances of misdiagnosed breast cancer. Ms Catherine Calland, a nurse at the hospital, was misdiagnosed with breast cancer, after a lump found in her breast was believed to be benign. A later review showed that the tissue had in fact been aggressively malignant lymphoma. Other cases included a young woman whose breast had been partially removed before being discovered that she wasn’t suffering from breast cancer.
I’ve been misdiagnosed with breast cancer, can I claim compensation?
Misdiagnosis can be classed as medical negligence. Where doctors and nurses fail in their duty of care to a patient, then this can give rise to a claim for compensation. Being misdiagnosed with breast cancer is a horrible experience and one that no woman should suffer but if you’ve been misdiagnosed with breast cancer, contact one of our friendly, professional and expert advisers today on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile.
Date Published: March 6, 2014
Author: David Brown