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Compensation for Woman After Delayed Breast Cancer Diagnosis

08 October 2015

A woman who suffered a chronic pain condition after she underwent a mastectomy following a delayed breast cancer diagnosis, has received substantial damages.

Slater and Gordon Solicitor: James Bell is a Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Slater and Gordon in London.

James is highly experienced in all areas of clinical negligence and has also handled complex multi-claimant actions that have included acting on behalf of many of the injured and bereaved connected to the Ladbroke Grove and Potters Bar train crashes.

Settlement Value: Confidential

What Happened: In September 2009, the client felt two lumps in her left breast. She had mammograms and an ultrasound which confirmed breast cysts and areas of micro-calcification, a known precursor to breast cancer.

The mammogram was reported as benign and the client was later discharged.

In January 2010, the client was re-referred to hospital by her GP with a definite breast lump. She was again discharged from the hospital.

In December 2010, she was re-referred to hospital again. She was reviewed and it was recorded that there were three palpable lumps in her breast. She had mammograms and an ultrasound which showed suspicious areas. A biopsy then confirmed she had invasive breast cancer.

She went on to have a mastectomy in February 2011 and later suffered a wound infection at the operation site which led to a chronic pain condition.

The client’s case was that the diagnosis should have been made in September 2009 and the calcifications revealed on the mammogram should have been deemed as “suspicious.” This would have led to a biopsy and a diagnosis of early breast cancer.

Impact: As a consequence of the hospital’s negligent delay in diagnosing the client’s breast cancer, she had to undergo a course of radiotherapy and suffered from severe chronic pain and psychiatric injury. Both of these outcomes could have been avoided.

How Slater and Gordon Helped: After taking detailed instructions from the client, we concluded that she had good prospects of success.

The client agreed to pursue the claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), commonly known as a no win, no fee agreement.

Medical evidence was obtained and details of the client’s losses and expenses were collated before court proceedings were issued.

Decision: Slater and Gordon negotiated with the defendants and reached agreement on a substantial six figure sum for the client. The NHS Trust apologised for their error.

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