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Novum Law’s specialist medical negligence team secured a £50,000 settlement for a woman who experienced devastating trauma and a worsening of her condition when her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment was delayed.
The woman, who had a history of breast cancer, went to her local GP after feeling a lump on the left hand side of her neck and a persistent dry cough. She was immediately referred to a specialist for a blood test and CT scan, which suggested she may have lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes.
She then underwent an endoscopy and a biopsy of her lymph nodes but unfortunately, the sample taken was insufficient for a full assessment to be carried out. Instead of getting a second biopsy, she was given an MRI scan, the result of which was said to give no cause for concern.
The consultant at the hospital diagnosed her as suffering from idiopathic vocal cord palsy, which is a weakness of the vocal chords causing a progressively worsening cough and a weak, hoarse voice.
However, she continued to feel unwell, experiencing further symptoms and was sent for a chest X-ray and ultrasound scan.
Following an urgent chest x-ray and an ultrasound scan of her neck, she was referred to an oncology team where she was found to be suffering from metastatic breast cancer which had spread into her left shoulder and neck and involved the left brachial plexus (the network of nerve fibres that supplies the skin and muscles in the arms).
Six gruelling courses of chemotherapy managed to halt the cancer’s spread and improved her symptoms, but our client was left very distressed and disappointed the hospital had failed to diagnose her cancer sooner.
An independent medical investigation, commissioned by the Novum Law team, revealed that the radiologist who reported on the MRI scan had failed to detect several abnormalities, and as a result, there had been nearly a two-year delay to her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
If her cancer had been diagnosed earlier, it is likely she would not have needed debilitating chemotherapy, and she could have been treated with hormone therapy instead. This alternative treatment option would have cured her idiopathic vocal cord palsy and would have returned her voice to normal.
Even though the NHS Trust involved continued to deny failings, Novum Law secured an excellent settlement compensating our client for the 22-month delay to her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
She is delighted her ordeal is now over and she can draw a line under what has, understandably, been a very, very tough time in her life. It is her hope that the Trust will learn valuable lessons from her experience and will work to ensure that similar mistakes will not happen to other cancer patients in the future.
If you or a loved one has suffered due to misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, delayed treatment, treatment errors or any other medical negligence, then please get in touch. Call Novum Law on Freephone 0800 884 0777, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the enquiry form on this page.
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