Breast cancer misdiagnosis: how to make a successful claim

Breast cancer misdiagnosis can be devastating and have severe consequences. While it is thought that around 1 in 2500 mammograms show a false negative result for breast cancer, with regular mammograms not being offered to younger people, missed or misdiagnosed breast cancer can still be common.

In this guide, we will look at what breast cancer can be misdiagnosed as, the impact this can have, and how this might lead to making a claim. We will also explain when you should seek legal advice, the evidence you may need, and the kind of compensation you may receive. Finally, we will see how the medical negligence solicitors at Wake Smith can support you when it comes to making a negligence claim.

What is breast cancer often misdiagnosed as?

There are several different diagnoses that may be pinpointed, whilst the accurate diagnosis of breast cancer is initially missed or overlooked altogether. These diagnoses are often linked to the symptoms of menopause, but can also be medical issues that a person of any age could encounter, such as mastitis or cysts (which are non-cancerous and not malignant).

Breast cancer can also be misdiagnosed as fibrocystic breast disease, where cysts are filled with fluid and cause scar tissue to build into lumps. Fibroadenomas are another common misdiagnosis, though these lumps are benign and comprised of breast tissue that is both glandular and fibrous, unlike malignant breast cancer tumours. In some cases, breast cancer may be misdiagnosed as a blocked milk duct, which can cause significant swelling and discomfort.

Misdiagnosis or late diagnosis can also be caused by failing to refer a patient for further specialist testing, such as a mammogram, or by a referral being delayed. A misdiagnosis may also have occurred if tests were carried out, but the results were not interpreted correctly by the medical professional handling them.

What impact can breast cancer misdiagnosis have?

A delayed breast cancer diagnosis or a misdiagnosis can have devastating consequences on a person's quality of life and life span. These impacts can include the cancer growing while not being treated properly, making it more challenging when proper treatment is carried out. This can lead to a mastectomy being required, or more invasive breast cancer surgery and traumatic reconstructive surgery being essential later on.

You may also suffer from losing lymph nodes, and losing the feeling in some areas of your breast. In the worst cases, a misdiagnosis might even cause wrongful death.

If you have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer after having previously been told it was another issue, there are medical negligence solicitors who can assist.

Can I make a claim against breast cancer misdiagnosis?

If your breast cancer diagnosis was not made early enough for you to receive adequate medical care, then you may be entitled to make a claim against the responsible parties. This can be done regardless of the stage of your cancer or the long-term effects of the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.

Even if you subsequently received appropriate medical care, you could still make a claim for the poor, absent or inappropriate medical care that you received, as well as for the trauma and suffering you experienced as a result of this. Cancer misdiagnosis can have a huge impact on your life, and clinical negligence should always be taken seriously.

When should I seek legal advice for breast cancer misdiagnosis?

If you believe that you have suffered from a breast cancer misdiagnosis, then you should reach out for professional support as quickly as possible. Legal advice is essential for making a successful claim, as a qualified medical negligence solicitor will be able to assess whether you have a valid claim to make, as well as the nature of your suffering at the hands of medical professionals.

They will also be on hand to support you with the evidence you need to prove your claim and be able to explain the amount of compensation you may be able to receive.

If you believe you have been the victim of breast cancer misdiagnosis, you should always consult a qualified medical negligence solicitor before making a claim. Contact us today to see how our experienced team can help you.

What evidence do I need to make a successful cancer misdiagnosis claim?

When you are seeking to make a successful breast cancer misdiagnosis claim, you need to ensure that you have the correct evidence to help support your claim. Your solicitor can help with this.

It is also helpful to have evidence of lost finances (such as a loss of earnings from missing work, travel costs and similar), and evidence of your pain and psychiatric trauma as a result of this late cancer diagnosis.

How much compensation could I receive?

The compensation that you are likely to receive can vary based on the extent of the damage and trauma caused to you as a result of the missed or delayed breast cancer diagnosis. Of course, any misdiagnosis is painful and traumatic, but as an example, you are likely to be able to make a claim of between £19000 to £50000 if you have a severe psychiatric impact, or up to £8000 if your trauma is less severe.

Each claim is different based on your unique set of circumstances, and for more bespoke potential compensation claims, a solicitor will need to explore your situation further.

How Wake Smith can help

Reaching out to a specialist solicitor is the first step in making a successful claim. Wake Smith is qualified in the field of medical negligence and misdiagnosis claims, making us the ideal solicitors to support you during a breast cancer misdiagnosis case. We will assist you first with advice regarding the validity and likely outcome of your claim, and then with gathering evidence and contacting the medical body responsible.

In many cases, this will result in an out-of-court settlement, but if you do need to proceed to court, then we will represent you at this stage. Get in touch for a no-obligation discussion today concerning your breast cancer negligence claim to see how we could help you make a successful claim against malpractice.

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