Check Yourself Regularly to Spot Breast Cancer Early

Author:
Rebecca Brunton
Medical Negligence Solicitor
Date:
01/10/2021

A woman in the UK is given the devastating news that they’ve got breast cancer every ten minutes. But if it’s detected early enough, breast cancer is treatable and you can make a full recovery.

That’s why we’re so keen to urge women to check themselves regularly and make sure they can spot the warning signs of breast cancer.

Of course, the world has drastically changed over the last 18 months, with Covid-19 making it much harder to access face-to-face GP appointments, and as a result, almost a million British women have missed vital breast screenings.

But now the country is open again, we’d encourage you to make sure you check your breasts regularly, and if you can feel or see anything that seems new or unusual, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor.

Breast Changes To Look Out For

  • A lump or swelling in your breast or armpit
  • Changes in the shape or size of your breast
  • Any changes in the skin
  • Your breast looking red or inflamed
  • Your nipple becoming inverted and producing unusual discharges
  • Rashes or crusting around the nipple

Can I See My GP in Person?

Yes, but only if your doctor believes there’s a clinical need for an in-person appointment.

You’ll be offered a virtual consultation first, either on the phone or via video, where your doctor will discuss your situation with you and decide what happens next.

If you see your doctor in person, they’ll carry out a physical examination of your breasts, and either decide there’s no cause for concern, ask to see you again for a follow-up check, or refer you to a specialist breast clinic.

Even if you don’t get an in-person appointment, you may still be referred to a clinic for more checks.

Early Diagnosis For Breast Cancer is So Important

Breast cancer can be fully treated if it’s identified early, which is why it’s so important to contact your doctor as soon as you spot anything unusual.

Any delay in diagnosis and treatment can give the cancer time to spread to other parts of the body. This could mean you need more extensive surgery, such as a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, as well as other, more invasive treatment such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Delayed diagnosis and treatment can also affect your chances of survival and shorten your life.

Nobody should go through this if it can be avoided, and a breast cancer diagnosis can be all the more devastating if you know it could have been treated earlier and that this would have made a difference.

Compensation if My Doctor Has Missed Signs of Breast Cancer

Our GPs provide an invaluable service. But sadly, mistakes can and do sometimes happen, with doctors missing signs of breast cancer and failing to refer patients for further tests quickly enough.

This can have terrible consequences, affecting your chances of recovery and meaning you have to go through a far more gruelling treatment regime.

Our Medical Negligence Solicitors have seen this first-hand on many occasions, but we’re glad to be in a position to help people get justice and rebuild their lives.

Delayed Surgery Resulted in Late Breast Cancer Diagnosis

For instance, we recently recovered £500,000 in compensation for a woman who’d been diagnosed with the BRAC2 gene, meaning she was more likely than most to develop breast cancer.

She decided to have an elective mastectomy and was told it would go ahead that summer, but she didn’t receive any date for surgery and later that year, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Independent medical evidence proved that although the cancer would have been present when the surgery was meant to happen, the tumour would’ve been much smaller. But due to the delay, she had to undergo a much more gruelling course of treatment, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

At first, the hospital argued that the delay in diagnosis didn’t affect her treatment or outcome, but eventually, they offered to settle. Read her story now.

If you were diagnosed with breast cancer later than you should have been or not referred for further checks quickly enough, our Medical Negligence Solicitors can help you claim compensation.

No amount of money can fully make up for what you’ve been through, but it can help you get the care, support and rehabilitation you need.

For free legal advice call our Medical Negligence Solicitors

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