Report gives cause for concern over secondary breast cancer misdiagnosis

Waiting roomA report by the charity Breast Cancer Now has found that women who have previously been diagnosed with and survived breast cancer, are suffering cancer misdiagnoses when the disease returns.

The report has found that 24% of women who have seen their breast cancer return have had to visit their GP three or more times before being correctly diagnosed.

20% of the survey respondents reported being treated for another condition before being diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. This is a serious issued and due to the potential health complications that could be caused, it would be wise to investigate the possibility of claiming for misdiagnosis with a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

NHS Misdiagnosis

Breast Cancer Now is calling for improved support for GP’s to help them identify the symptoms of secondary breast cancer and reduce the chance of misdiagnosis.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK but thanks to research and investment in treatments, it now has a high survival rate. However, according to Breast Cancer Now, there are still 11,500 deaths attributed to breast cancer each year.
The research from this charity shows almost all of these deaths can be attributed to secondary breast cancer.

Breast cancer misdiagnosis

Secondary breast cancer cannot be cured which makes the figures for secondary breast cancer misdiagnosis all the more shocking.
However, in addition to GP’s being given access to the correct training and information, patients should also be given the information to identify the symptoms in order to recognise the need to visit their GP.

Avoid secondary breast cancer misdiagnosis

  • weight loss or reduced appetite
  • discomfort or swelling under the ribs or across the upper abdomen
  • vision or speech problems
  • ongoing or severe headaches
  • a dry cough or breathlessness
  • numbness or weakness in the limbs
  • loss of balance
  • lumps or swelling under the arm, collarbone or breastbone
  • bone pain that doesn’t get better with pain relief

While these symptoms can relate to many other conditions or illnesses, breast cancer patients should be encouraged to report these symptoms to their GP to ensure any re-occurrence is diagnosed quickly.

Breast Cancer Now Chief Executive, Baroness Delyth Morgan said

It’s completely unacceptable that thousands of women may be experiencing avoidable delays in being diagnosed with the return and spread of their breast cancer. There is unfortunately no surviving a diagnosis of secondary breast cancer, and significant delays in patients getting the treatment and support they need can have a devastating impact.

Get expert advice

Call today and speak to Kamila Jaskula, specialist medical negligence solicitor. Find out if you can claim compensation.

CALL 0800 083 5500