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Our client, Mrs C visited her GP for a routine blood pressure check. During the appointment she mentioned to the GP she had noticed a red spot under her right breast, and it had been present for around 6 weeks.
They assured her there was nothing to worry about and that it was most likely a cyst or an infected spot. She was prescribed antibiotics and sent away without an informed or arranged follow-up.
Our client returned to the GP again a few months later, as she was still concerned about the lump, and was worried that it had grown. She was again told it was a cyst and prescribed antibiotics.
After the spot failed to disappear, our client attended the GP again a month later, only to be told the same things as before.
Our client then went to seek treatment to remove what she had been told was a ‘cyst.’ She consulted a beauty physician who upon seeing the ‘cyst’ advised her to seek medical attention immediately.
Our client wrote a letter to the GP surgery, who then made an immediate referral for suspected breast cancer. Alongside this, our client consulted with a private dermatologist, who arranged a biopsy. The biopsy results prompted a referral to a consultant breast and general surgeon who confirmed that our client had breast cancer, almost a year after her initial appointment with the GP.
Following the diagnosis our client had to undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment as well as surgery on her nodes as the cancer had spread. This has left her with a lifelong risk of developing lymphoedema, which can have a significant impact on her life.
We alleged that the GP should have spotted the clear signs of breast cancer, as the spot was unexplained, painful and had been present for more than 6 weeks and there were a number of attendances. The delay in diagnosis led to an increased growth in the tumour, and earlier treatment would have meant she would not have needed surgery.