October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Author:
Jodie Cook
Senior Associate, Medical Negligence Lawyer
Date:
02/10/2020

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month - a national effort to make sure women with breast cancer get the best possible care, support and treatment.

A woman in the UK is diagnosed with breast cancer every ten minutes. This is a stark figure and one that shows why it’s so important to get checked out if you have any concerns.

Our Medical Negligence Solicitors regularly work with women who’ve been affected by breast cancer, including many who were diagnosed later than they should have been. A late diagnosis can have terrible consequences, such as the cancer spreading to other parts of the body and patients having to go through more aggressive treatment.

But the breast cancer survival rate is much higher if it’s detected early, so we feel very strongly about the need for members of the public and clinicians to recognise the warning signs of breast cancer as early as possible.

Early Signs of Breast Cancer

According to guidance, you should see your GP if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • A lump, swelling or change in the size or shape of one or both breast
  • Dimples on the skin of your breasts
  • Discharge from nipple other than breast milk
  • Breast pain
  • Your nipple changing appearance, such as turning inwards into the breast
  • A lump or swelling in one of your armpits
  • A rash on or around your nipple

If you present with any of these symptoms, your doctor will examine you and arrange further test such as a mammogram or ultrasound scan. If this detects an abnormality, you’ll be sent for a biopsy, which will establish whether it’s harmless or cancerous.

Lumps in the breast can often be benign, but it’s best to get it checked so you can be sure. And even if the lump is cancerous, it can often be removed before the cancer spreads if it’s detected early enough.

But unfortunately, some women are not diagnosed as early as they should be. There can be many reasons for this, such as:

  • A failure to examine you properly
  • Your symptoms being misdiagnosed
  • Delays in referring you for further specialist assessments
  • Test results and x-rays not being correctly interpreted
  • Failure to arrange your routine breast screening

This can in turn lead to:

  • The cancer being diagnosed when it’s reached a more advanced stage
  • The cancer spreading to other parts of your body
  • You needing more aggressive treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Increased likelihood of you needing a mastectomy rather than having the lump removed
  • Greater chance of you needing removal of your lymph nodes causing lymphedema
  • A greater chance of you getting cancer again in the future
  • A slower recovery, forcing you to take longer off work and needing more care
  • A reduced life expectancy

How Simpson Millar Can Help You

If you’ve been affected by delayed or late diagnosis of breast cancer, our Medical Negligence Solicitors can help you. We offer a free claims assessment with legal advice, and will be happy to speak to you about your situation and discuss your options.

We can help you claim compensation for:

  • The pain and suffering you’ve gone through
  • Any financial losses you’ve experienced, including loss of earnings
  • Care, treatment and rehabilitation needs
  • The cost of further surgery you may need as a consequence

Our Medical Negligence Solicitors can also act on a No Win, No Fee basis, so there’s no financial risk to you if you make a claim.

Making sure the mistakes with your treatment don’t happen again is also very important to us. So if we act on your behalf, we’ll work constructively with the NHS, making sure it learns lessons for the future, so other breast cancer patients don’t have to go through what you’ve experienced.

For free legal advice call our Medical Negligence Solicitors

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