This is a guide on delayed breast cancer treatment claims. All medical professionals have a duty of care towards their patients. This means that they are legally required to provide a standard of care that is of an acceptable level.
If you as a patient suffered harm because you were not given the required standard of care for your illness – whether in assessments, treatment or monitoring – you could be eligible to claim for medical negligence. This is a guide showing you how to sue for suffering harm because your breast cancer treatment was delayed.
This guide will look at the process of making medical negligence claims, and inform you of what actions by a healthcare provider could be seen as medical negligence. It will also show you how to get help from legal representation at no upfront cost to you.
Our advisers can help you. They offer free legal advice and can discuss the validity of your claim with you. You can reach one now by:
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- What Is A Delayed Breast Cancer Treatment Claim?
- Why Breast Cancer Treatment May Be Delayed
- Am I Eligible To Sue The NHS?
- Why Claim For Delayed Breast Cancer Treatment?
- Delayed Breast Cancer Treatment Claims Calculator
- Make A No Win No Fee Claim With Medical Negligence Assist
Healthcare providers owe their patients a duty of care. This means they have a responsibility toward their health and need to provide the correct level of care to patients at all times.
Treatment for breast cancer can be delayed for a number of reasons. The illness may have been initially misdiagnosed, or required treatment for breast cancer may not have been administered at the point it should have been. You can claim for delayed treatment from misdiagnosis of cancer, or the wrong treatment being given as a result of negligence. In some cases, you could also claim for failure to treat breast cancer entirely, provided that it caused you harm and resulted from negligence.
You can only claim for delayed treatment that causes you harm. If your treatment was delayed as a result of negligence, but this did not have any impact on your wellbeing and recovery, then you would not be owed compensation.
A claim could see a patient awarded compensation, not just for the pain and distress the continued or worsened injury may have caused, but for the financial impact the negligence has had.
If you are looking to make a medical negligence claim, then please speak to one of our advisers. They can offer you free legal advice on the process of claiming for delayed breast cancer treatment caused by negligence.
Is Delayed Treatment Medical Negligence?
Delayed treatment for an illness can have an adverse effect on a person even if the required treatment is then given at a later date.
There are some instances where delayed treatment may not be caused by negligence, for example:
- Your condition is initially symptomless, meaning that a doctor cannot make a diagnosis and start treatment
- You don’t tell your doctor about all the symptoms you’re experiencing, and so they do not get a full picture of your condition
- You fail to attend one of the follow-up appointments that are arranged for you
If you have received delayed breast cancer treatment as a result of negligence, and it’s had a negative impact on your health, you may be able to claim. Get in touch for free legal advice.
Breast cancer treatment could be caused by a failure to diagnose. This can happen for a number of reasons. A medical professional could –
- Fail to recognise the symptoms presented as symptoms of breast cancer
- Fail to request what will have been a necessary action for an accurate diagnosis, such as a scan or biopsy
- Fail to correctly analyse the results of an assessment, such as a mammogram
- Failure to refer to a specialist
All of these actions could be examples of medical negligence if they happened as a result of a breach of duty of care.
You could also receive a delay in treatment because your condition was misinterpreted despite being correctly diagnosed. You might also get the wrong treatment as a result.
For example, your healthcare provider might offer you hormone therapy because they’ve misinterpreted the results of your test and believe that your condition would respond to this.
However, you actually need chemotherapy, the start of which is delayed. As a result, you might need more intensive treatment than you would have if you’d received the right treatment at the right time. For example, you may need surgery that prompt treatment could have avoided.
If you experienced delayed breast cancer treatment because a healthcare provider did not provide the correct standard of care, then please speak to one of our advisers.
In order to claim for the harm caused by delayed treatment of breast cancer, you need to show that you were owed a duty of care and that a breach of this duty caused you to be harmed. You may have experienced a new injury or illness, or have experienced a worsening of your original condition.
There are other factors that you need to bear in mind when considering making a claim. One of them is that you’re within the appropriate time limit for claiming.
This time limit is usually two years from the date of the incident, or from the date you became aware that your condition was caused by negligence. The latter is called the date of knowledge.
An important part of making a medical negligence claim is proving that the healthcare provider breached the duty of care that they owed. This can be done using something called the Bolam test.
This is where a panel of medical professionals who are trained in the relevant area are asked whether or not the actions of the healthcare provider constituted an acceptable level of care. If they decide that it does not, then you may have a valid delayed breast cancer treatment claim.
Breast Cancer Statistics
According to Cancer Research UK, there are 55,920 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed annually. These were the averages from statistics collected during 2016-18. It is the most common cancer among women in the UK.
Compensation for medical negligence can address the effects the delayed treatment may have had on you. This can be especially important if you were unable to work or had suffered financial losses due to your injury.
Evidence of how the negligence has affected you can be helpful in making your claim. This can come in the form of:
- Receipts: These can show costs associated with your injury, such as medication you may have taken for the pain
- A medical assessment of your injury: To show how the negligence has affected your health and the prognosis of your condition
- Payslips: If you have had to take time off work, then payslips could enable you to claim lost earnings by showing the amount you could have earned
If you are looking to make a medical negligence claim for suffering because of delayed breast cancer treatment, then please speak to one of our advisers. They can confirm whether you have a valid claim and may be able to assess how much your claim could be worth.
Mediation And Arbitration
While medical negligence claims can go to court when necessary, there are alternatives to litigation that can be pursued to try and avoid this. Mediation and arbitration are two different ways of settling a claim that do not require court.
Mediation is where a neutral third party aims to find a resolution to the case. Their decision is not legally binding. Arbitration is similar, except both sides will agree to be bound by the decision made by the arbitrator.
Giving the average settlement for cancer misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis is unlikely to be useful to you. This is because claims are assessed on individual circumstances.
You can seek compensation for the pain and distress the delayed treatment has caused you. This head of claim is known as general damages.
We have included a table of compensation featuring injuries that a late diagnosis of breast cancer could result in. These figures come from the Judicial College Guidelines, which is a publication that legal professionals use to help them value claims.
|Where the cancer has spread to the ovaries causing infertility with severe depression, pain and scarring
|Where the cancer has spread to the ovaries without aggravating features and where there's no sexual dysfunction.
|Where the cancer has spread to the ovaries and caused infertility, but without medical complications and where the injured person already has children.
|Where the cancer has spread to the ovaries and caused infertility, but where the injured person would not have had children anyway.
|Cancer that has spread to the lungs causing severe disability, progressive worsening and premature death.
|£100,670 to £135,920
|Cancer that has spread to the lungs and causes pain and impaired function.
|£70,030 to £97,330
|Several noticeable scars or one scar that causes disfigurement
|£7,830 to £22,730
|Scar from an exploratory laparotomy
|In the region of £8,640
|One scar that can be noticed or a number of scars that are superficial
|£2,370 to £7,830
|Where you fear that you will die or that your life expectancy will be reduced.
You can also make a claim for compensation for any financial losses you may have suffered from your delay of treatment, under special damages. This could include loss of earnings, care costs and the cost of adapting your vehicle or home. As we’ve mentioned, you would need evidence to support this head of claim.
Please speak to our advisers for an estimation of how much your medical negligence claim could be worth. You could be connected with a solicitor from our panel to work on your delayed breast cancer treatment claim.
A solicitor from our panel of medical negligence solicitors could help you if you have a valid case. They have experience with dealing with medical negligence claims and can ensure that all aspects of your case are covered.
You can get the help of one of the solicitors from our panel on a No Win No Fee basis. This means they will not charge you an upfront fee, nor any fees as your claim is handled.
They will charge a success fee, which will only be taken if your claim is successful. The success fee has a legal limit, and can only come as a percentage of your compensation. You don’t pay for their services if you lose your claim.
If you want to know what working with a solicitor can entail, then please reach out to one of our advisers now for information. You can do so by:
Related Claims Guides
Other resources for this guide include
- Care Quality Commission (CQC): you can make a complaint about a care provider to the CQC
- NHS: Guide to breast cancer diagnosis
- Cancer Research UK: Resources and support for breast cancer.
Thank you for reading our guide to making a claim for delayed breast cancer treatment caused by negligence. We offer other guides on:
Writer Marlon Campbell
Publisher Fern Stiles