General Practitioner’s failure to diagnose breast cancer

For a period of a year the Claimant attended her General Practitioner with concerns about a lump in her breast. She was not examined nor referred to a breast clinic.

Towards the end of this period the Claimant’s breast was so misshapen that the General Practitioner had suggested the purchase of 2 alternative bras of different sizes and stitching them together in order to deal with the asymmetry.

Eventually the Claimant saw a different General Practitioner in her practice who made an immediate referral to the breast clinic when a diagnosis of breast cancer was made. The Claimant underwent chemotherapy, a left mastectomy and ancillary node clearance.

It was the Claimant’s case that as a result of the failure to examine and refer her to hospital the Claimant’s chances of survival had reduced from 80% to less than 50%.

The claim involved complex consideration of causation and involved evidence from a General Practitioner, Surgical Oncologist, Psychiatrist and Professor of Palliative Medicine.

It was admitted by the Defendants that there was a failure by the General Practitioner to refer the Claimant to hospital. Causation was denied. The claim concluded at a settlement meeting with a substantial settlement on the Claimant’s behalf.

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