Our Service For You


Medical Negligence
Medical Negligence Solicitors

Delayed Diagnosis of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. The condition affects some 48,000 women every year, and as with all types of cancer, an early diagnosis will greatly improve a patient's chances of recovery. It will also ensure the treatment is less invasive, possibly even preventing the need for a mastectomy.

Diagnosing breast cancer

Breast cancer will usually be detected in one of two ways: either a problem will be diagnosed during a routine breast screening (offered to women between 50 and 70 years old), or a woman will notice a lump and seek medical attention from her GP.

In each case, medical practitioners must use their professional expertise to determine the best course of action. For example, if a woman has noticed a change in her breasts and asks her GP for advice, an examination should be performed. If the GP believes the symptoms need further investigation, a referral should be made to a specialist breast cancer clinic. This should be done if there is any cause for concern, no matter how small.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) have strict guidelines regarding cancer referrals, and GPs should consider these when deciding what action to take. An urgent referral should be made in patients:-

  • Of any age with a separate, distinct, hard lump that is fixed, with or without dimpling of the skin;
  • Aged 30 years and older with a separate, distinct lump that is still present after their next period, or occurs after the menopause;
  • Aged younger than 30 years with a lump that is growing or has other features linked with cancer (such as being fixed and hard) or other factors such as family history;
  • Of any age, who have had breast cancer before, and have a new lump or other suspicious symptoms;
  • With eczema on one breast or a nipple change that does not get better when treated;
  • With a recent change in nipple shape;
  • With a bloody discharge from one nipple;
  • Who are male, aged 50 years and older with a firm lump in one breast with or without a change in nipple shape or skin changes.

An urgent referral should mean that a woman is seen in a breast cancer clinic within two weeks. On the other hand, a non-urgent referral should be made in patients under 30 with a lump, or in patients with breast pain or other persistent symptoms that do not resolve with treatment.

Does a delay amount to medical negligence?

We have sadly dealt with several cases in which medical practitioners have failed to refer a patient for further assessment, only for the patient to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a later date. This delay can have devastating consequences, prolonging a patient's pain and suffering, increasing the extent of treatment that is needed, and even reducing their life expectancy.

If this has happened to you, you could have the grounds for a medical negligence claim. This is because in failing to recognise the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, medical professionals will have provided a substandard level of care. If this delay has caused you to suffer injury, you will be entitled to compensation. To find out more, you need to talk to a medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible.

Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

Bookmark This Article?

Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

Free enquiry

 


Free Claim Enquiry

Complete a short enquiry form and we will contact you.

Free enquiry

*

Testimonials

"Before we contacted you we had no real idea that we had grounds for a medical negligence claim but after speaking to you if became clear that Wendy was indeed treated poorly. Chris took the time to explain what was happening and kept us to speed. Our deepest gratitude to you all and Chris in particular."

"I would like to say a big thank you to you for making this whole process easy and relatively painless. You kept me informed throughout and you were always polite and courteous in all forms of communication. I would not hesitate to recommend you to friends and family, so a really big thank you and I wish you all the best in the future."

» Read More Medical Negligence Testimonials?

*
Helping Clients throughout England and Wales


contact us

*

Free Medical Negligence Guide

'7 Questions You Must Ask Before Choosing A Medical Negligence Solicitor'

Free download

*