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Breast cancer misdiagnosis can reduce the effectiveness of treatment and cause unnecessary suffering. Where the misdiagnosis of breast cancer has taken place, you may be entitled to compensation, but you will need advice from a specialist medical negligence solicitor to be successful.
When a medical professional responsible for your wellbeing fails to provide care to the necessary, acceptable standards, you may be entitled to make a claim for the misdiagnosis of breast cancer.This can be the result of a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis, or as a result of other failures such as failing to provide the correct course of treatment and making the necessary, timely referrals to a specialist.
Sometimes doctors do not notice the signs and symptoms of breast cancer because they have failed to perform a thorough enough investigation or examination of the patient. They may also fail to associate the symptoms presented with the condition, misdiagnosing another (less serious) ailment.
In other cases it may be that delays in administering treatment for the patient have allowed the cancer to spread to other areas of the body (such as neighbouring muscles or organs), and become more dangerous and difficult to treat.
Wherever the actions of a medical professional have negatively impacted your prognosis, you may be entitled to make a claim for breast cancer misdiagnosis.
If you or a loved one has had breast cancer misdiagnosed, contact Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors today for expert advice on what to do next. You will receive free initial advice from an expert solicitor with experience in successfully dealing with breast cancer misdiagnosis claims.
Recognised by the Legal 500 as one of the leading law firms in the South East, our lawyers have the experience and knowledge necessary to determine whether you have a case, and how best to secure the maximum possible compensation for the misdiagnosis of breast cancer. Call us today on 0800 083 5500.
It is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible, as time restrictions do apply. When you call and speak with one of our specialist clinical negligence lawyers, this is one of the issues they will discuss with you.
Through a challenging period, the legal support, advice and guidance provided to me by Blackwater Law has been excellent.
At Blackwater Law we understand that you and your family will be under enough stress and pressure at this time. That’s why we undertake all medical negligence compensation claims on a no win, no fee basis, including all breast cancer misdiagnosis claims.
If Blackwater Law agree to advise and represent you in making a breast cancer misdiagnosis claim, you will not risk any of your own money. If your claim is not successful, you will not pay us anything. If your claim is successful, a percentage of your compensation payment will be deducted to cover the cost of our legal services.
This amount will not exceed a government imposed percentage cap and this percentage will be agreed with you at the very start of your misdiagnosis case.
Many women with breast cancer undergo surgery, but a delayed diagnosis may mean additional procedures are subsequently needed, and that alternative forms of treatment with more adverse side-effects may become necessary. This may compound your pain and suffering and this will be considered by your solicitor when they are piecing together your case.
Some of the most immediate impacts of a delayed breast cancer diagnosis relate to emotional state. Many are understandably distressed. Such emotions are likely to be present even with a timely diagnosis, but delays in diagnosis and misdiagnosis can certainly exacerbate them.
Making a breast cancer misdiagnosis claim can provide a higher level of financial security to you and your family at a difficult time.
You may require a number of hormone therapy treatments which have been known to cause aching in joints and bones. Generally, this can be addressed through painkillers, but this can still be considered as an additional form of suffering that might be linked to a delayed diagnosis of your breast cancer.
Immediately following surgery, or where your breast cancer reaches an advanced stage, fatigue is a commonly recognised symptom which may prevent you going about your daily routine.
All of the aforementioned effects can force you to address how you manage your life. You are likely to have monetary matters to attend to and your financial position may become uncertain following diagnosis. Financial woes are likely to be exacerbated by a breast cancer misdiagnosis – which may require more aggressive, longer-term treatment – and may force you to take more time off work, or even leave work altogether.
Immediately upon presenting abnormal symptoms to your GP, they should conduct a thorough assessment to determine whether or not your concerns warrant referral to a specialist. Strict guidelines have been issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence about this process, so your GP should be in no doubt as to whether or not to refer you to a cancer unit.
Should they decide to refer you, the next step could be:
In the unfortunate event that you are diagnosed with breast cancer, you should be referred for further testing to establish exactly what stage the cancer has reached, and what the best course of treatment for you is. This stage can include the likes of CT scans, chest X-rays, hormone receptor tests and more.
Each of the stages outlined above should be completed to the fullest extent and in a timely fashion in order to avoid a delayed diagnosis of breast cancer. Where this is not the case, the delays / failures of medical staff can provide grounds to make a delayed diagnosis of breast cancer claim.
There are a number of groups of women who should be especially vigilant with regards to breast cancer.
One of the most at-risk groups is women who have been diagnosed with the disease before. Changes in the nature of the cells around the breasts mean that these women can once more fall victim to breast cancer – either in the same, or the opposite breast.
Older women are also at greater risk, and are especially vulnerable post-age 50. This is particularly relevant if you have already undergone the menopause.
Whilst breast cancer is not strictly hereditary, those with a family history of the disease are at a greater risk. This is because there are certain genes that can be passed down from one generation to the next that are associated with a greater risk of developing breast cancer.
If you began your periods at an unusually early age, or the menopause at an especially late one, prolonged exposure to the oestrogen hormone can also increase your chances of breast cancer. This is because the hormone has been linked with stimulating the growth of cancerous cells.
Exposure to radiation has also been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, as it can stimulate the growth of affected cells. This can occur in the form of X-rays and CT scans – particularly where the tests in question are targeted around your chest area.
Whilst surgery remains the first port-of-call when you are diagnosed with breast cancer, a delayed diagnosis or a recurrence of the disease can mean you are forced to contemplate alternative treatment plans. Theses can include:
Chemotherapy: This is the use of anti-cancer (cytotoxic) medication to attack and destroy cancer cells, normally immediately after surgery but in some cases beforehand, in order to shrink particularly large tumours. Chemotherapy can cause infections, tiredness, the loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, as well as hair loss and soreness of the mouth.
Radiotherapy: Where controlled doses of radiation are used to target and destroy the remaining cancer cells following surgery or a course of chemotherapy. Side-effects are known to include the blackening and soreness of the skin around the breast, extreme fatigue and a build-up of fluids in the arm – as a result of blocking the lymph nodes.
Hormone Therapy: Again this course of treatment is normally used following the aforementioned treatment plans, but may also be used before surgery to shrink larger tumours. Essentially these treatments work to stop the release of oestrogen or progesterone hormones in your body, as some cancers are caused by or linked to your body’s production of these hormones. Hormone therapy treatments have been known to cause aching joints and bones.
Biological Therapy (targeted therapy): HER2-positive cancers are so-called because they are stimulated by the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) protein. Biological therapy works to stop the effects of this protein and supplement your immune system’s ability to fight cancer. Allergic reaction to this treatment can result in nausea, wheezing, chills or fever, and patients are generally known to suffer diarrhoea, tiredness and / or aches and pains throughout the body.
All treatment plans aim to achieve “remission”; the process whereby your cancer starts to shrink and eventually disappear. Reaching this stage should allow you to look and feel normal again and resume your day to day routine.
Jason Brady was really good, he supported me through the whole thing.
Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors acted for Mr L in a medical negligence claim in the High Court after he was misdiagnosed. The misdiagnosis meant he went on to suffer a serious stroke causing life-limiting disability.