Late Diagnosis of Breast Cancer compensation claims
We are often asked 'How do I claim compensation for a late diagnosis for breast cancer?' Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers and as with most cancers if it is detected early the survival rates and quality of life after treatment or surgery result in much better outcomes. But if there have been mistakes by a misdiagnosis or delays in diagnosis or treatment, as specialist solicitors we can help you claim compensation for the unnecessary pain and suffering. If a loved one has sadly died, we can help claim compensation on behalf of the deceased's estate, usually the next of kin of the surviving partner, husband or wife or children of the deceased.
Fortunately, in recent years the mortality rate of Breast Cancer victims has drastically decreased due to extensive research going into spotting the early signs, as well as the greater diagnostics available for medical professionals.
However, this does not mean that Breast Cancer is not still prevalent and a widespread crisis affecting the lives of millions of people around the world. Breast cancer is still a hugely misdiagnosed disease which can lead to death; this article informs you on The 5 Most Common Misdiagnosed Cancer Claims - Hutcheon Law
The most common case of breast cancer involves a small, painless mass that is initially discovered by the patient. If the lesion does not resolve within one menstrual period, a GP must then rule out any possibility of cancer. This includes utilisation of diagnostic tests including mammography, needle biopsy or reference to a surgeon for surgical exploration. Failure to undertake necessary tests that lead to a delay in a diagnosis of breast cancer can lead to complications and a claim for medical negligence.
Medical Negligence can be anything from a delayed diagnosis, failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis, failure to refer, failure to undertake recommendations made by a cancer specialist; which can all be proven fatal. If you believe you have suffered from medical negligence, contact us.
In many cases, the examining doctor will send the patient home as he or she does not consider there is anything to worry about. No referral being necessary. Several months or years later, cancer is finally diagnosed. By this time, it has invaded lymph nodes or possibly spread to other organs (it has become ‘metastatic’).
How to Spot the Signs
There are many ways to test yourself at home for breast cancer in order to combat the symptoms early if you have them; this way you can prevent further growth and a potential late diagnosis, please see the NHS Breast Cancer Care Page.
According to Johns Hopkins Medical Center, women are encouraged to perform breast self-examinations at least once a month. A statistic shown by them indicates that ‘40% of diagnosed Breast Cancers are detected by women who feel a lump’.
A National Breast Cancer Foundation article suggests that there are 3 main ways in order to perform self-examination; these include:
1: In the shower – With the flat part of your three fingers, press down with pressure around the breast, looking for any lumps/ thickening or changes.
2: In front of a mirror – Visually inspect your breasts whilst slowly raising your arms from your side to above your head, looking out for any changes in the colour or dimpling of the skin.
3: Lying Down – Laying down causes the breast tissue to spread evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under each shoulder, with your arm over your head, check with firm pressure for lumps/ changes.
Despite self-examinations being encouraged by medical professionals, they are not always 100% accurate. Tumours can usually be detected by touch or visual inspection, yet there are rare cases whereby tumours are not able to be detected via self-examination. Which is why getting checked by a medical professional is recommended monthly at least.
The Stages of Breast Cancer
Due to their being 4 stages to Breast Cancer, each worse the higher the stage; it is of paramount importance to familiarise yourself with the early symptoms in order to start treatment as early as possible. The four stages are:
Stage 1 – The cancer is small and is only found in the breast tissue, or it may be found in lymph nodes in close proximity to the breast tissue.
Stage 2 – The cancer is either; in the breast, in lymph nodes in close proximity, or both.
Stage 3 – The cancer has spread from the breast tissue to lymph nodes close to the breast tissue or to the skin of the breast, or to the chest wall.
Stage 4 – The cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body.
Having understood how important it is to catch the cancer before it grows/ spreads. It is alarming to learn that more than 1 in 10 Breast Cancer Diagnosis’ are late in the UK; potentially due to medical negligence, entitling you to claim compensation. Furthermore, Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 15% of all new cancer cases.
The importance of catching the symptoms to begin treatment early is paramount, using statistics provided by Cancer Research UK; when diagnosed early, 100% of patients survive their disease for at least one year and 98% for up to five years. In comparison, when diagnosed at the latest stage (4), only 66% people will survive for a least one year and 26% for five years or more.
The five year relative survival rate for Breast Cancer is lower in England than it is for the European average. This may be due to the 2 week wait standard used by medical professionals which delays the diagnosis, allowing time for the cancer to grow and spread.
How Can I Make a Claim for misdiagnosis of breast cancer?
If you received a misdiagnosis or delayed cancer diagnosis, you should be able to claim for medical negligence for the additional pain and suffering and possible reduction in your quality of life and mental well-being. For more information on who can claim see our specialist website: dependency claims, who can claim.
When a loved one has died due to misdiagnosis of breast cancer or a delay in the diagnosis of breast cancer, it’s possible to recover compensation on their behalf. You may be able to claim if you are the surviving spouse or child of the deceased, or if you’re the parent of a child. Often there is a three-year time limit after the date of the death or from when you believe the medical clinician made a mistake to make a claim so you must provide your solicitor with instructions quickly. The three year period may be extended. However, the sooner a claim is made the better.
In any case, a delay to cancer treatment often means the disease could spread further, reducing the chance of survival. If you can prove your delayed cancer diagnosis was caused by medical negligence, then you may have a claim.
If you think you are eligible for a Clinical Negligence Claim. Call On: 0151 724 7121. Or, get in contact via our
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