Research from Cancer UK suggesting that Breast Cancer is in reality 10 different diseases throws light on the way the condition should be managed in the future. It helps to explain why some Breast Cancers have very different outcomes from others and may also mean that treatments can be better targeted to the right patients. One expert has described this as a step towards ‘the holy grail’.
Until now Breast Cancer has generally been classified into 4 subgroups depending on findings under the microscope. Of course even within those subgroups are all sorts of variations.
My colleagues and I regularly act for women whose Breast Cancer has been misdiagnosed or wrongly treated on the NHS and privately and want to pursue a Breast Cancer Compensation Claim. One of the difficult issues for us is establishing just how much harm has been caused. This involves trying to establish what the condition of the Cancer was at the time of the mistake and what the outcome would have been with different treatment. There are cases where errors are literally a matter of life and death and other cases where a negligent delay or error, however bad, has not really made a difference to the outcome.
Establishing this is a complex matter. We often have to involve experts from 3 or 4 disciplines - surgeons, oncologists, pathologists and radiologists. Working with so many experts makes you realise how complex these issues are and how valuable research like the recent study from Cancer UK is.