My Breast Cancer Was Misdiagnosed, Could I Claim Compensation?

If your breast cancer is misdiagnosed by a medical professional, you might experience unnecessary harm and a poorer prognosis. As breast cancer is a disease that worsens over time, it is crucial to diagnose it as soon as possible.  The disease can impact a patient in various ways; in severe cases, it can be fatal.

Breast cancer misdiagnosed

Breast cancer misdiagnosed claims guide 

Medical professionals have a responsibility to provide the correct standard of care to their patients; if they fail to do this and you are caused avoidable harm, it is known as medical negligence. You could be eligible to claim compensation if harmed by a breach of duty of care. Furthermore, if you have lost a loved one due to substandard medical care, you might be eligible to claim compensation on their behalf.

Medical Negligence Assist could help you to discern whether you have a valid claim after your breast cancer was misdiagnosed. Speak to our advisors, who could pass you on to our experienced panel of medical negligence solicitors after an assessment of your claim. Later in this guide, we will discuss the benefits of pursuing your claim with a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis. Please get in touch with us using the details below to see if you could begin your claim:

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Why Is Breast Cancer Misdiagnosed?

If you experience any of the symptoms of breast cancer, such as a lump in your breast, you should seek immediate medical attention. Also, women over 50 can have routine breast screenings, where a doctor could spot early signs of cancer.

A doctor would be expected to examine the symptoms and provide advice on the next course of action. If they are concerned that your symptoms could indicate breast cancer, they may send you for diagnostic tests at the hospital.

Tests that could be used to diagnose breast cancer include ultrasound scans, mammograms and biopsies.

Some examples of how breast cancer could be misdiagnosed include:

  • A test has shown growths that should be investigated because they show clear signs of breast cancer is a possibility. However, a GP dismisses the patient’s test results and does not refer them for further testing. If the patient is caused avoidable harm because of this, this could be an example of GP negligence.
  • A lapse in concentration means that doctors look at the wrong test results for a patient. If this causes the patient harm, it could be a form of hospital negligence.
  • A doctor fails to spot clear signs that could indicate breast cancer during a routine screening because they read the test results incorrectly.

What Is Clinical Negligence?

All medical practitioners have a duty of care toward their patients. Medical, or clinical, negligence is when a medical professional fails to provide a patient with the correct standard of care and causes them avoidable harm.

You can make a medical misdiagnosis claim if you can prove that a medical professional breached their duty of care, causing you to sustain harm which could have been avoided. Please contact our team of advisors today to learn who could be liable when breast cancer is misdiagnosed.

Can You Claim For Breast Cancer Negligence?

You could make a breast cancer negligence claim if there is evidence to prove the following:

  • The medical professional that treated you owed you a duty of care. All medical professionals have a legal duty of care toward their patients.
  • The medical professional did not provide you with the correct standard of care that you are owed, leading to a misdiagnosis of your breast cancer.
  • And finally, the breast cancer misdiagnosis caused you harm.

If you have lost a loved one due to a doctor breaching their duty of care, you could be eligible to claim compensation for their wrongful death. Contact us to learn more.

How Could Misdiagnosis Impact Breast Cancer?

As we have mentioned, cancer is a life-threatening disease that can worsen over time. A failure to diagnose cancer could result in you needing a more aggressive form of treatment, such as chemotherapy, or suffering a poorer prognosis for recovery.

If a doctor misdiagnoses inflammatory breast cancer, which is an aggressive form of the disease, the condition may worsen rapidly. Also, if breast cancer is misdiagnosed, it could spread to other organs by the time a correct diagnosis is made.

According to Cancer Research UK, breast cancer could spread anywhere in the body, however it most commonly spreads to the:

  • Lungs
  • Liver
  • Lymph nodes
  • Brain
  • Bones

If cancer spreads to another part of the body, then this could cause additional physical effects. For example, a tumour in the lymph nodes could result in pressure on and damage to the spinal cord.

In the most extreme cases, medical negligence could be the cause of a person’s death. Please contact our advisors if medical negligence has caused you or a loved one avoidable harm; a member of our team could tell you if you have a valid claim.

Misdiagnosed Breast Cancer Compensation Time Limits

Under the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit to begin making a medical negligence claim is generally three years. The time limit can begin on the date the medical negligence took place or when you became aware that medical negligence caused you harm.

For example, if your breast cancer was misdiagnosed, you may not initially realise this, and so the time limit for starting your claim would not begin until the date you realised that the disease was misdiagnosed and that this has had a negative impact on your wellbeing.

There are a few exceptions to these time limits. These apply to a person who lacks the mental capacity to make a claim on their own behalf or a person who is under the age of eighteen when the incident takes place. Please speak to our advisors to learn more about the time frame you have to begin making your claim.

What Could I Claim If My Breast Cancer Was Misdiagnosed?

There are two heads of compensation you could be awarded for a successful medical negligence claim; these are general damages and special damages. General damages compensate for the physical and mental pain and suffering caused by medical negligence. Whereas special damages compensate for past and future monetary losses suffered due to the avoidable harm.

Medical expenses could include the cost of having reconstructive surgery if a medical professional breaching their duty of care caused you to have a mastectomy to remove your breasts, for example. It could also cover a loss of earnings if you took time off work.

It is important to note that you must keep evidence of any special damages, such as travel tickets, payslips, invoices or bank records.

In the table below, we used information from the Judicial College guidelines (JCG) to provide guideline brackets for general damage amounts. Solicitors and other legal professionals use the JCG to help them work out how much a medical negligence compensation settlement could be worth.

InjuryCompensation BracketNotes
Moderately Severe Brain Damage£219,070 to £282,010The person will substantially depend on others and need constant care; they will be very seriously disabled.
Moderate Brain Damage (i)£150,110 to £219,070The person will have no prospect of employment. There will be a personality change and a moderate to severe intellectual deficit.
Moderate Brain Damage (iii)£43,060 to £90,720The person's memory and concentration will be affected. Also, their ability to work will be reduced. Dependence on others will be very limited.
Less Severe Brain Damage £15,320 to £43,060The person will be able to return to work and take part in normal social life, due to making a good recovery.
Severe Back Injury (i)£91,090 to £160,980The injury will involve damage to nerve roots and the spinal cord, which leads to very serious consequences.
Lung Injury (b)£70,030 to £97,330The person will have lung cancer, which causes them severe pain and affects their quality of life.
Scarring £7,830 to £22,730 The award may be for a single scar which is disfiguring or several noticeable scars from lacerations. Scars on the chest fall into this bracket.
Scarring £2,370 to £7,830Several superficial scars or a single scar which is noticeable. There may be some minor cosmetic deficit.
Moderate Psychiatric Harm £5,860 to £19,070The person will have had problems coping with life. However they will have markedly improved by trial and the prognosis will be good.
Mental Anguish£4,670The person will fear impending death or their life expectancy being reduced.

Please feel free to call our claims helpline. Our advisors can explain how a compensation calculator could help you to estimate how much you could claim.

Can I Use A No Win No Fee Solicitor?

Choosing to enter into a No Win No Fee agreement with your legal representative means you will not pay any upfront or ongoing fees for your solicitor’s services. Nor will you pay for their services should your claim be unsuccessful. Your solicitor will take a small, legally limited percentage from the compensation, known as a ‘success fee’, in successful claims.

You may prefer to work with a No Win No Fee solicitor because you can benefit from the services of a legal professional with minimised financial risk compared with paying fees to a lawyer before the claim starts or as it progresses with no guarantee of a settlement at the end.

Please get in touch with us to enquire further about the eligibility criteria that must be met to claim compensation after your breast cancer was misdiagnosed.

Therefore, you can:

Breast And Other Cancer Misdiagnosis Resources

You may find these pages from our site useful:

Misdiagnosed Bladder Cancer Medical Negligence Claims Guide

Illness Or Injuries Caused By Negligent Blood Testing Compensation Claims

Surgical Negligence Compensation Claim

You could look at these external sources for further reading:

An NHS guide on breast lumps

Help for Coping with Breast Cancer from Cancer Research UK

Advice for women living with breast cancer from the NHS

Thank you for reading our guide to the steps you could take when breast cancer is misdiagnosed due to medical negligence, causing avoidable harm.

Writer Hana Clarke/Jess Olsen

Publisher Fern Stiles