A woman who underwent urgent breast cancer surgery was later told her mistaken cancer diagnosis was due to a hospital ‘mixup.’
After the 39-year-old nurse was diagnosed with invasive grade three breast cancer in July 2013 following a biopsy, doctors at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton advised her she needed immediate surgery and chemotherapy.
When doctors suggested a double mastectomy, the woman instead opted for surgery to remove a ‘cancerous’ tumour from her right breast, as well as lymph nodes from her armpit.
Doctors also advised her to undergo a further procedure involving a bilateral breast lift to cosmetically improve supposed deformities in her breasts caused by the first operation.
But just four days after the operation the mother-of-one was asked to attend an appointment with her consultant where she was told staff had confused her medical notes with those of two other patients and that she had, in fact, never had breast cancer.
For someone in their 30s to be told they have an aggressive form of cancer is bad enough but for them to also have to suffer significant pain and scarring not to mention the trauma of disfiguring and painful surgery including reconstructive surgery, is simply unacceptable.
The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust has admitted liability for the misdiagnosis and the unnecessary surgery performed.
This appalling error undoubtedly caused a huge amount of anguish and shock to this woman and her family. Sadly, however, delayed and misdiagnosed cancer cases such as these are not uncommon.
Being misdiagnosed for cancer can obviously have a huge physical and emotional impact on people’s lives. Aside from the devastating consequences on patients, they also raise massive questions as to what improvements need to be made in the hospitals responsible.
Paul Sankey is a Senior Clinical and Medical Negligence Solicitor leading the Slater and Gordon Lawyers Clinical Negligence team in London.
If you or a loved one have been wrongly diagnosed with cancer due to clinical or medical negligence, call Slater and Gordon Lawyers for a free consultation on freephone 0800 916 9049 or you can contact us online.
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