Case study: £320,000 for misdiagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer
Our medical negligence solicitors acted for a client who developed inflammatory breast cancer after a hospital misdiagnosed her symptoms as fibroadenoma.
Visits to GP with breast pain
In May 2015, our client (Ms C), who was 48 years old at the time, visited her GP complaining of pain in her left breast which was spreading to her arm. She was also experiencing discharge from her nipple.
Ms C’s GP prescribed antibiotics to treat her condition. When she returned to the GP surgery a week later, the discharge from her nipple had resolved but she continued to be in pain. Her GP made a fast-track referral for suspected breast cancer to the breast clinic.
Misdiagnosis of fibroadenoma
An ultrasound a month later in June 2015 showed a 1.1cm mass in the lower left breast which was diagnosed as a fibroadenoma (a solid breast lump) and classified as non-cancerous.
At a follow-up appointment in September 2015, our client was reassured about her diagnosis.
Referral to breast clinic and diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer
Unfortunately, Ms C continued to experience pain following her diagnosis of fibroadenoma.
In June 2016, following a course of antibiotics, her GP referred her to the breast clinic where an ultrasound scan showed a collection measuring approximately 5.1cm which was once again classified as non-cancerous.
This was investigated further in an MRI which showed a lump measuring 8.7cm. Ms C was then diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer.
Ms C later had a mastectomy and underwent radiotherapy to the axilla (the armpit area) and supraclavicular fossa (the area just above the collar bone) to treat the breast cancer. Her prognosis is uncertain.
Claim for medical negligence
After initial evidence from the radiologist was unsupportive, our specialist medical negligence solicitors obtained reports from an oncologist and surgeon which determined that our client would have avoided a mastectomy, radiotherapy, and the risk of lymphoedema (a long-term condition that causes swelling in the body’s tissues) and would have had an improved prognosis.
Settlement of the misdiagnosis claim
The radiologist was eventually persuaded by the arguments of her fellow experts and our solicitors sent a Letter of Claim which resulted in a full admission of liability.
Following further negotiation, the claim was settled for £320,000.
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