Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis & Breast Cancer Negligence Claims
Breast Cancer Claims are necessary when faced with the negligent behaviour of medical professionals. Being diagnosed with breast cancer will always be disturbing news for the individual and their families, but with early intervention, survival rates are good and improving all the time.
That is why it is so important to get an accurate assessment as early as possible. Failure to properly screen and identify breast cancer, especially in older women who are at higher risk, can allow cancer to progress, and invade surrounding tissue.
If breast cancer is not discovered at an early stage, treatment options can become more limited as well. There is also an increased likelihood that more invasive procedures become the only option left, which in turn can mean more pain and suffering for the patient, prolonging recovery times. In the worst cases, failing to detect breast cancer in good time can allow it to become untreatable and therefore terminal.
Being diagnosed with any cancer is always going to cause great concern, but finding out that opportunities have been missed to make a correct diagnosis often compounds the emotional impact of the disease. This can cause great distress, and be hugely damaging toward the chances of recovery. Our Breast Cancer Solicitors can help you if you or a loved one have suffered because of a breast cancer misdiagnosis or negligence.
How can we help?
Sheldon Davidson Solicitors are a leading firm who have helped countless victims of cancer misdiagnosis negligence over the past 20 years and more. Our Breast Cancer Lawyers have first-hand experience in handling Breast Cancer Claims for clients throughout England & Wales as well as supporting claimants in the local community. We handle each case in a personalised and compassionate, but highly professional way.
We ensure that settlement amounts rightly reflect the pain, suffering and financial impact felt by Breast Cancer Claims clients, and the protection of their well-being.
If you feel that your diagnosis of breast cancer was handled negligently, or not to the standard that should be reasonably expected of the healthcare professionals entrusted with your care, then talk to our team at the earliest convenience. We can help examine the facts and provide honest, expert opinion on whether you have grounds to make a claim for misdiagnosis.
Can I claim for Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis or Negligence?
The deciding factor in whether you have grounds for Breast Cancer Claims is whether the standard of care you received affected your prognosis. For example, failure to treat breast cancer at the earliest opportunity can prolong treatment, require more time for recovery, or worsen the overall outcome.
However, if you received the standard of care that you could expect from any competent medical professional, then your treatment may not have been negligent, even if you found it a distressing experience.
This can be difficult to come to terms with, but our team is here to support you. Whatever the circumstances of your case, we will sit down with you, talk through your options, and ensure you can make an informed decision of whether to claim or not.
As medical negligence claim experts, we know the criteria the courts apply when deciding whether you have grounds for a compensation claim or not. Our solicitors are, as you may expect, comprehensively versed in the types of treatment and procedures that breast cancer patients should expect from their GP, their Oncologist, and the NHS, or private hospitals at large
If we believe that there is a negligence case to answer, we will immediately confirm that we can handle your claim on a no-win, no-fee basis. This removes any obligation to pay costs associated with legal fees. Even in the unlikely event of a claim proving unsuccessful, there would still be nothing for you to pay.
We believe nobody should be prevented from seeking justice due to financial concerns, especially in cases where medical negligence has left you unable to return to work, or worse. If we do handle your claim for you, rest assured that you have a recognised team of medical negligence legal experts fighting your corner. We will remain in close communication with you right through the process, so you understand what is happening at all stages.
If breast cancer was misdiagnosed, what can I claim for?
First and foremost, any personal injury or medical negligence claim will compensate an individual for the pain, suffering, and loss of amenity caused. This element of the compensation claim is known as general damages. General damages will consider psychological distress as well as the physical harm caused.
Cancer is a terrible disease and we have experienced the lasting psychological damage and long-term physical effects of the illness and of invasive treatments for late-stage breast cancer. We take great care in ensuring the mental effects of any claim we handle for our clients are fully evaluated and considered. Where necessary we will draw on an expert witness to demonstrate the breadth of psychological impact on mental well-being.
The final compensation settlement amount will also include compensation for financial losses or financial provision for future social and health care needs. Financial losses are known as ‘special damages’ and can cover items such as loss of earnings at times when your condition meant you were unable to work, and medical bills for any avoidable treatment and rehabilitation you had to endure. Other financial costs can be covered such as travel costs, where more trips to the hospital must be made.
There is no limit to what might be considered in ‘special damages’, there exists only the need to show that additional financial impact has been felt as a direct result of the negligent care you have received.
In the most serious cases of misdiagnosis, which may result in the untimely death of a loved one, family members are left simply wanting justice. Many want to help ensure that lessons are learned, so that others may be spared the same consequences of injustice or negligent care.
Where the person that dies is the main source of income for the family, then so too must their future earnings be considered in the claim.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with breast cancer, our specialist and highly experienced lawyers will talk through what has happened and how you and your loved ones have been affected. We will work through every item to be considered with appreciation and understanding of what you are going through. Our approach will be detailed and thorough in order that we make the best provision possible for your future well-being.
Breast Cancer and its symptoms
According to Cancer Research UK, there are over 55,000 cases of breast cancer every year. That is over 150 new diagnoses each day. It is the most prevalent form of cancer in the UK, equating to approx. 15% of all new cancer cases each year.
Around 76% of patients survive breast cancer, but with the sheer volume of people affected each year by the disease, it is clear that, on occasion, there will be problems with an accurate diagnosis.
The most common symptom of breast cancer is a lump of hard tissue in the breast. However, most lumps are not cancerous, which is why it is important to seek advice from a medical expert immediately.
Breast cancer can occur at any age, and in any gender. About one in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their life, with an increased risk over the age of 50.
If you are in a high-risk category, you may be asked to attend routine breast cancer screenings to detect the condition even before external symptoms develop.
A failure to detect breast cancer during screening or to correctly diagnose the condition from physical symptoms like a lump in the breast may provide ground for a clinical negligence claim, especially if the correct treatments are delayed as a result.
Treatments for Breast Cancer
Deciding on the best treatment for breast cancer is not easy. It requires a team from different medical disciplines to come together to discuss your case.
Some tumours can be caused by hormones in your body like oestrogen. Hormone therapy that lowers the levels of oestrogen and progesterone in your system can be effective in treating these cancers.
Other tumours may require conventional cancer interventions like chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery to remove the tumour.
Not all cancer treatments aim to cure the patient completely. In cases where cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body, for example, where intervention aims to achieve remission instead, shrinking remaining cancer enough that it is no longer a threat to you.
Choosing how to treat your cancer can have a direct impact on the pain and discomfort you experience, and on whether your cancer is eliminated or not.
If you think your doctors chose the wrong course of treatment - or you would like to explore that option - Sheldon Davidson Solicitors are here to discuss your case and help you decide if your treatment was negligent or not.
Potential outcomes following Breast Cancer treatment
Long-term outcomes of breast cancer can vary greatly based on how advanced your cancer is, the treatments you receive, and any ongoing rehabilitation and support from your healthcare provider.
Some of the possible effects, you may experience include:
- Scarring from surgery to remove tumour cells.
- Need for reconstructive surgery e.g. after mastectomy.
- Fatigue and sore or sensitive skin after radiotherapy.
- Discomfort and hair loss during chemotherapy.
- Need for ongoing monitoring to check your cancer does not return.
- Developing Lymphoedema
- Spread of the tumour to neighbouring lymph nodes
In terms of recovery, there are three main outcomes:
- Total recovery, in which the cancer is eliminated.
- Remission, in which cancer remains but is shrunk to a controllable size.
- Terminal cases, in which cancer cannot be controlled.
No matter what the outcome of your case, we are here to support you through a difficult time. Patients who make a full recovery may still have a case for avoidable pain and suffering due to breast cancer misdiagnosis.
Relatives who have lost a loved one due to misdiagnosed breast cancer can claim too. While that cannot bring back the person who is now missing from your life, it can help with financial hardship and in many cases, brings a sense of closure too.
How to know if your Breast Cancer was misdiagnosed?
The diagnosis process for breast cancer is similar to other types of cancer diagnosis. The complexities of diagnosing and treating cancer mean it is important to be sure of whether your condition was misdiagnosed or not. The most common ways breast cancer is diagnosed are:
- Ultrasound scan (mammogram)
- A physical examination
You may already have a good sense of whether your cancer treatment was of the expected standard, or whether your condition may have been misdiagnosed.
It is quite likely that your doctor was negligent if they:
- Did not arrange routine screening if you are in a high-risk group, e.g. older women.
- Did not refer you to an oncologist if you found a lump in your breast tissue.
Negative outcomes from treatment are an indicator of negligence, but not always. Sometimes surgery is of the right standard but still does not eliminate the tumour.
We always listen carefully and with empathy to everything you have gone through, and can offer the correct support for you to move on with your life. Whether that's via a breast cancer compensation claim or by referring you to other organisations that help cancer victims and their families to enjoy life again, we can help
Do I have a time limit for my Breast Cancer Claim?
If you have suffered because of a Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis or Breast Cancer Negligence, you may be worried about the validity of your claim, and whether this could possibly expire because of a time limit.
In the UK, most medical negligence claims are subject to a time limit of 3 years from the day of the accident. This may also apply to what is known as the “date of knowledge”, meaning the time you have discovered how the negligent act has impacted you, even if this has happened some time after the missed or delayed diagnosis, negligent treatment, or surgery.
There are a number of exemptions to the 3-year time limit on Breast Cancer Claims, so it is vital to seek legal advice as soon as you feel ready to do so.
Claim for Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis or Negligence with SDS
If you would like to talk about the potential of making Breast Cancer Claims, please get in touch using the details on our Contact Us page.
We welcome all enquiries, we offer claims on a no-win, no-fee basis, and there is no obligation to proceed past the initial consultation.
Our medical negligence claims experts have worked with families from across the north-west, as well as clients the length of England and Wales, and we know what you are going through and how difficult it can be to talk about.
Even if you decide not to make a claim, you might find it helpful to discuss the circumstances of your case - sometimes you can gain valuable closure from determining that your diagnosis and treatment were not negligent.
If you decide to make a claim, you will be in safe hands with us. We are a Lexcel accredited personal injury law firm, which recognises our high standards of practice management and our excellent customer service.
We have been doing this since 1997, with a client base centred on Rochdale, Radcliffe, Bury, Oldham, Prestwich, and Bolton.
Sheldon Davidson Solicitors have helped many families in and around Greater Manchester to seek compensation and if you have fallen victim to medical negligence, we are here for you too.