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Breast Cancer: It's Not Just Computers That Cause Chaos

13th June 2018

A computer error is being blamed for 450,000 women aged 68-71 failing to be invited for breast screening since 2009. Speaking in the Commons, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt suggested that the error could have caused up to 270 women to lose their lives prematurely. Naturally, the announcement has caused widespread anxiety and distress for many women and their families.

The NHS breast screening programme invites more than 2.5 million women every year to come in for a checkup.

Women between the ages of 50 to 70 are tested every 3 years up to their 71st birthday.

In January 2018, Public Health England analysis found hundreds of thousands of women had not been sent invitations to their final routine screening appointment between their 68th and 71st birthdays.

The Health Secretary promised that letters will be sent to all women affected before the end of May 2018.

 Two and a half women are screened in the UK for breast cancer every year

Breast cancer is in the news again one year after the jailing of Ian Paterson

Once again tragic breast cancer stories have been brought to the attention of the public. Last year, former breast surgeon Ian Paterson was jailed after being found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent, and three of unlawful wounding against 10 victims. Paterson was sentenced to 15 years in prison, later increased to 20 years in the Court of Appeal.

Paterson carried out hundreds of unnecessary operations on patients at privately run Little Aston and Parkway hospitals in the West Midlands.

The surgeon, who has been named a ‘butcher’ by his victims, also performed countless ‘cleavage-sparing mastectomies’ on NHS breast cancer patients, leaving breast tissue for ‘cosmetic reasons’, meaning patients were at a greater risk of their cancer returning.

In September 2017 a High Court Judge approved a £37m compensation plan for hundreds of victims of disgraced breast surgeon Ian Paterson.

In April 2018 the Paterson Inquiry was launched to avoid a repeat of the ‘breast cancer butcher’.

 

Breast cancer negligence is sadly very common and very real

We are currently working with many women who are suffering or have suffered in the past from breast cancer and have sadly been the victim of medical negligence. In some cases, we are working with relatives who have lost their loved ones. Our aim is to investigate exactly what happened and claim compensation for the pain, suffering and loss they were caused through no fault of their own and which could have been avoided.  Breast cancer negligence can happen in different ways. If any of the following sound familiar, you could be entitled to claim compensation.

 Breast Cancer Negligence is Still Common

"The GP said the lump was nothing to worry about"

We heard from a patient who discovered a small lump in the top part of her right breast. She went to the GP on multiple occasions and was advised the lump was a cyst and nothing to worry about.  Years later after further visits to the GP and hospital, she was diagnosed with a breast condition which was a non-cancerous lump. The surgeon suggested she could have the lump removed which she did. The surgery took place and tests were done on the lump.

The results of the test showed that the patient, in fact, had grade 3 breast cancer.  She then embarked on a journey to become cancer free which involved chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone treatment and a mastectomy. The effect on her life has been devastating.  If the proper investigations had been done earlier, perhaps things would have been different.

 

They didn’t remove all of the cancer when they operated

A patient got in contact with us after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent an operation to have the cancer removed. After the operation, the hospital informed the patient that they had not removed the cancer as they should have. One week later she had to go back in for another operation.

Another patient spoke to us after having a total of 4 operations to remove her breast cancer. Our investigations will determine whether something went wrong and if the operations could have been avoided.

 

They didn’t interpret the scan results correctly

We heard from a patient who had been diagnosed with stomach cancer and underwent chemotherapy.  The treatment successfully shrank the tumours in the stomach.  Over 2 and a half years after first being diagnosed with stomach cancer, the patient went back to hospital feeling unwell and she was sent for a full CT scan. The patient was told that she had stage 2 breast cancer. The consultant looked through the 5 CT scans she had previously and found that the cancer was actually present on all of them. It is likely that the cancer could have been diagnosed and treated sooner if the scans had been interpreted correctly.

 

When should you seek the advice of a Solicitor?

If you feel you have been let down by the healthcare system and your cancer was diagnosed late or misdiagnosed, or if you have been through an operation to remove breast cancer which was incorrectly performed, you are entitled to seek legal advice. If a loved one has been affected and sadly died as a result, you could make a claim for compensation on their behalf.

If you would like to find out if you could be entitled to make a claim, call Your Legal Friend for no win no fee legal advice on 01515505228 or complete our form and we will call you back. Alternatively, visit our frequently asked questions page for more information.