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Delayed Breast Cancer Treatment Case

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Failure to recall a patient after an abnormal mammogram led to delays in breast cancer treatment, a severe lack of care, a mastectomy that went wrong. Sadly resulting in the death of a much loved mother and grandmother.

Breast Cancer Negligence Compensation Claim

Our client’s family approached Pearsons Medical Negligence Solicitors to seek answers on the death of their mother after a series of mistakes and a direct breach of both internal and Public Health England Protocols.

In 2012 our client's mother attended a routine mammogram which indicated an abnormality in her left breast and she needed to be recalled. However she was due to have a hysterectomy and as such could not attend the follow up appointment. No further date was offered and further investigations and treatment were not pursued.

The results of the mammogram were not communicated to her GP as per protocol and she was not recalled for further investigative treatment.

Two years later she noticed a lump in her left breast and visited her GP.  She was referred to Tameside Hospital’s Breast Clinic and it was noted she had been due a recall two years previously but was “never contacted due to gynaecological surgery”.

The breast clinic revealed that she had a carcinoma which had spread and her lymph nodes were also affected.

Breast Cancer Care Plan

After the breast clinic revealed the extent of the cancer she was put on a care plan involving a mastectomy which was undertaken a month later.

For the next few weeks the mother had trouble with her wound, it was necrotic and infected and on transfer to hospital she was eventually she was diagnosed with MRSA.

Two months later in a follow up appointment at The Christie it was noted that she needed:

  • radiotherapy
  • chemotherapy and an intravenous drug to prevent recurrence of breast cancer
  • a Herceptin

She was able to have Herceptin therapy, but she could not commence regular chemotherapy as her wound was not healing properly.

Herceptin Side Effects For Client

After a fever following the Herceptin she was referred for further surgical revision of her scar which was continuing to trouble her.  Following the surgery she continued to feel unwell and for a few months experienced:

  • gastric issues
  • episodes of constipation followed by diarrhoea
  • general lethargy
  • dizziness

She continued to be ill and became frailer, an ultrasound revealed multiple metastases and due to her increasingly poor health and diagnosis she was transferred to the Willow Wood Hospice where she passed away peacefully only 3 days after the final breast cancer diagnosis.

Commenting on the case, Daniel Phelps, of the Medical Negligence team at Pearsons said:

“The daughter pursued this case once she realised the series of blunders and lack of protocol followed by the hospital.

When a family member passes away in such tragic circumstances we sometimes see relatives wanting to take on the case to get answers and hopefully to prevent this happening to other people”

The case against Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was settled out of court and resulted in the Trust admitting a breach of duty of care.

How can we help

For advice on all issues and aspects of medical and clinical negligence contact one of our specialist medical negligence solicitors on 0161 785 3500 or email

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

Written by Daniel Phelps


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