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What Are Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims?
Breast cancer misdiagnosis claims refers to when victims of breast cancer misdiagnosis take legal action against their negligent healthcare provider. If a medical professional fails in their duty of care to you, you are legally entitled to make a medical negligence claim.
When a woman is wrongly diagnosed with cancer or in another case the breast cancer is mistaken for cyst, the UK law allows such persons to make cancer misdiagnosis claims for breast cancer malpractice against their healthcare provider. An undiagnosed breast cancer can also form grounds for making a breast cancer claim.
Breast cancer is the 2nd most common form of cancer affecting women in the UK with almost 50,000 new cases every year. As many as one in eight women in the UK are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer at some time in their lives.
Breast cancer can have a devastating impact on the lives of the patients and the family members. However, If breast cancer is diagnosed early it can be treated and patients can recover fully.
The five-year survival rate for localized breast cancer is 99% which is extremely good. However, when the cancerous cells spread to surrounding tissues (regional), the five-year survival rate drops to 86% while the five-year survival rate when it has spread to other parts of the body is just 28%. This emphasizes the point that early detection is key towards survival and still having a good quality of life.
What Is Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis?
Breast cancer misdiagnosis refers to when a doctor incorrectly fails to identify the presence of breast cancer in a woman. It also refers to when a doctor wrongly makes a breast cancer diagnosis when the woman is actually free which will surely cause devastating psychological effects on the individual.
Breast cancer misdiagnosis can also refer to when the medical professional fails to identify the actual location and stage of the cancer which in this case will lead to wrong treatment.
When you visit the hospital, It is very important that your doctor thoroughly investigates your symptoms and carries out all necessary tests before arriving at a diagnosis rather than make assumptions of any kind.
The effects of breast cancer misdiagnosis are extremely serious as late detection can be fatal.
Some common symptoms of breast cancer are:
- Change in nipple shape or size
- Lump in the breast
- Swelling or a lump in or around the armpit
- Changes in the shape, size or texture of the nipple or breast
- Bloody discharge from the nipple
Every medical professional owes his or her patient a duty of care and therefore should do all in their power to ensure that patients receive the right standard of care. Doctors must give a thorough assessment of their patient’s symptoms, refer them for further tests and even seek opinions of cancer experts before arriving at a conclusion.
Why make Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims?
The reasons for making breast cancer misdiagnosis claims are not just for monetary compensation, they are also to ensure that measures are put in place so that such mistakes are prevented from reoccurring. Sometimes victims want to get a proper explanation as to what really happened but unfortunately may not get satisfying responses which will push them to make claims.
Making breast cancer claims also helps you to obtain compensation for your pain and suffering. It will also help you cover additional expenses and costs you may have incurred due to the incident.
Factors That Lead To Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis
There are several factors that can cause cancer misdiagnosis. These include;
- Dismissing patients’ complaints and symptoms as being nothing to worry about
- Failure to refer patents for further investigations and tests
- Incorrect reading or interpretation of test results
- Inaccurate reading of Mammogram or Ultrasound
- Failure to make proper follow up on test results
- Failure or delay in referring you to a qualified cancer specialist
- Incorrect diagnosis of a malignant tumour as being benign
- Incorrect analysis of the cancer’s stage or actual location
The success of treating breast cancer hinges on early and accurate diagnosis. Unfortunately, it has been discovered that breast cancer is most often misdiagnosed as a benign cyst, mastitis or fibrocystic breast disease. In other cases, some women have been falsely diagnosed with cancer.
According to a research carried out in 2018, it was discovered that 4 out of 10 patients with cancer in the UK receive the wrong diagnosis of cancer at least once before their disease is correctly diagnosed. This is simply unacceptable.
It is also important to note that most times diagnosis is delayed due to the patient’s fault. It may be because of fear of having a cancer diagnosis or the embarrassment of having a breast examination. A visit to the hospital is delayed which is dangerous.
Research led by Breast Cancer Now in 2018 found that only 48% of UK women who were part of the survey were regularly inspecting their breasts for signs of breast cancer. About 8% of the women had never checked at all. 41% of the women said they didn’t check because they forgot while 21% said they didn’t feel confident in checking their breasts.
Women are therefore encouraged to regularly inspect their breasts for signs and symptoms of breast cancer so that they can quickly report to their doctor if they notice changes. This will ensure that early diagnosis is done to actually identify the condition.
Investigations To Diagnose Breast Cancer
There are several ways to diagnose breast cancer. It is of utmost importance that a medical professional employs all available technology at his disposal and make necessary referrals when necessary to a specialist breast cancer hospital. While it is important to do the right tests, it is also important that the correct readings or interpretation is given to the test results as failure to do so can cause significant delays to making the right diagnosis and the cancer can grow or spread to other parts of the body.
Examples of investigations to diagnose breast cancer include;
A mammogram produces an X-Ray of your breasts. When a screening mammogram is done and there are areas of the breast that look abnormal, then your doctor may recommend a diagnostic mammogram which is a more detailed X-ray of the breast.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
This scan uses strong magnetic fields to produce detailed images of the inside of the breast.
- Ultrasound Scans
Ultrasound scans, sometimes called sonograms, may be recommended in place of a mammogram especially for women under 35years of age as younger women have dense breasts. The ultrasound scan uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the inside of the breasts.
A biopsy is a more invasive procedure than others, but is highly effective for diagnosing breast cancer. This procedure involves taking a sample of tissue or fluid from the breast and surrounding area to test it for cancerous cells under a microscope.
Types of biopsies include- fine-needle aspiration, core biopsy, open biopsy, and vacuum-assisted biopsy.
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What Can Happen If A Breast Cancer Diagnosis Is Delayed?
If a breast cancer diagnosis is delayed, obviously, the cancer cells will continue to grow. There are four stages of breast cancer.
- In stage I breast cancer, the tumour is less than 2cm in size and the lymph nodes in the armpit are not affected.
- In stage II breast cancer the tumour now measures between 2 to 5cm with the lymph nodes in the armpit are affected.
- By stage III, the tumour is now attached to the structure of the breast, such as the muscle, and skin.
- While at stage IV, then the cancer has spread to at least one other part of the body, and the chances of survival at this point are very slim.
When an incorrect diagnosis is made or diagnosis is delayed, it could result to the following:
- Cosmetic deformity to the breast which will require a reconstructive surgery
- The breasts becomes thick and changes both in colour and size
- Cancer may spread and affect other organs such as the liver, kidneys, muscles and bones
- There could be damage to the integumentary system (skin, hair, nails, and exocrine glands)
- Loss of lymph nodes as they will need to be removed from the armpit
- A condition known as lymphoedema (painful swelling of the arms) may occur
How Do I Make A Breast Cancer Negligence Claim?
In order to make a breast cancer Misdiagnosis Compensation claim, your specialist medical negligence solicitor in breast cancer claims will assist you establish that your doctor acted negligently, failing in his duty of care which has caused you unnecessary pain and suffering.
You will need to establish that-
- Your Doctor or GP owed you a duty of care
- The medical professional breached that duty of care
- And that you have suffered unnecessary pain, trauma and losses due to that breach of duty of care
Our Medical Negligence Solicitors are experts in Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims and will guide you through the negligence claims process. They are friendly, approachable and very understanding. They understand your difficult situation and will make sure you get the right legal counsel and representation while ensuring that the process is smooth and stress-free for you.
When you reach out to us, we will assign you a personal lawyer who will also explain to you documents needed to help prove your case. You can contact us today by completing our quick Free Claim Assessment Form so that we can access your case and kickstart your claims process in earnest.
No Win No Fee Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Compensation Claims
Our medical negligence solicitors will undertake your breast cancer negligence claim under a No Win No Fee policy also known as conditional fee agreement. This funding type exempts you paying us any legal fees before we begin to handle your case and even during the entire claims process. Also, you do not owe us a dime if the claim is unsuccessful.
However, in the most likely case that your case is won, a 25% success fee is deducted from your total compensation award value while you receive the rest.
How Much Compensation Will I Get For My Breast Cancer Compensation Claim?
The amount of compensation one can receive for breast cancer compensation claims varies from case to case. This is because no two breast cancer claims are the same; each has its own peculiarities. The severity of your pain, suffering as well as other expenses you have incurred as a result of the misdiagnosis will be taken into account while negotiating your settlement value.
However, our solicitors are able to give you a range of what you can expect as settlement fee using our medical negligence compensation calculator.
Time Limit For Making A Negligence Claim
The Limitation Act of 1980 stipulates a three-year time limit for making a negligence claim. This time is counted from the date of the negligence or your date of becoming aware of the negligence.
For an individual under 18 years of age, then your three-year time frame starts from your 18th birthday.
This time frame does not affect an individual who is incapacitated and unable to make claims. In this case, the individual may want a close relation to make claims on their behalf.
For any questions you may have concerning this, please contact us and we will ensure you get all the answers you need.
It is important that you begin your claim as soon as possible because of how sensitive medical negligence claims can be.
Medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients and are expected to make the right decisions for their patients. If you have suffered or your condition is made worse as a result of medical negligence, do not hesitate to reach out to us to assess your case and help you make a claim.
Frequently Question Asked about Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims
Can Breast Cancer Be Misdiagnosed?
Yes, breast cancer can be misdiagnosed. Most times it is misdiagnosed as a benign cyst, mastitis or fibrocystic breast disease which puts the lives of many women at risk.
What Can Be Mistaken For Breast Cancer?
There are a number of conditions which can be mistaken for breast cancer. They include;
- Benign Breast Tumours
- Granular Cell Tumour
- Phyllodes Tumour
- Fat Necrosis
- Duct Ectasia
- Hormonal Changes
- Pregnancy or Breastfeeding caused changes
What Is Usually The First Sign Of Breast Cancer?
The first sign of breast cancer is usually the lump in your breast or under your arm which refuses to go away. Swelling in your armpit or collarbone is also common. A mammogram can reveal the lump in your breast even before you are able to feel or see it.
What Is Breast Cancer Pain Like?
In the initial stage, breast cancer can be painless but it is important not to ignore any sign and symptoms similar to that of breast cancer. Breast cancer causes changes to the cells of the skin which leads to feelings of pain, tenderness, discomfort or even a burning sensation in the breast.
What Are the Seven Signs Of Breast Cancer?
The most common seven signs of breast cancer are;
- Swelling of all or some areas of the breast
- Swelling of the lymph node around the armpit or collarbone
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- Pains in the breast or nipple
- Retraction of the nipple
- Nipple discharge
- Redness or thickness of the breast or nipple