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Posted on 7th May 2018

Breast Cancer Screening Error

The NHS has revealed that there have been grave errors in breast cancer screening which have affected up to 309,000 women who urgently need a rescan and review of their records. The breast cancer screener errors may have resulted in as many as 270 deaths and many more delayed diagnoses which may lead to millions of pounds in compensation to the affected women and their families.

The error has come from an algorithm mistake which saw women between 68 and 71 not being invited for a mammogram as part of their final checkup for breast cancer screening. The estimate by the health secretary is that between 135 and 270 may have died as a result of not having the breast cancer screening.

The issue for the NHS is to now process all of the records and recall of the women who missed their final check-up. This also puts pressure on NHS finances for expensive machinery use. There is also a shortage of radiologists who will be needed to examine the results.

The issue will then lie in determining compensation and whether the outcomes for any women would have been better if the screening had taken place. Since the revelation, many families who have lost loved ones to breast cancer have been devastated by the fact their chances of survival may have improved had they had a screening.

The leading charity Cancer Research advise out of 1000 women who are screened regularly over 20 years, around 75 patients will be diagnosed with breast cancer and of those 75 women, 16 will die from breast cancer but 59 will be scessfully treated and survive.

When compatred with 1000 women who do not have screening over 20 years, 58 patients will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Of those 58, 21 will die from breast cancer and 37 will be successfully treated and survive.

What Negligence Claimline say

Proving medical negligence in these types of cases where patients had not been invited to screening may be very difficult because mammography only detects cancers when they are already present, they do not detect early signs of cancer.

Studies have shown that detection of breast cancer by mammogram would result in just a 20% to 25% reduction in mortality rates in women over the age of 50. News reports on this current scandal say that up to 270 lives may have been shortened due to the failures.

To improve the chances of survival, cancer must be diagnosed early. When the diagnosis is delayed, or the disease is misdiagnosed, it can have severe repercussions and dramatically reduce the rate of survival and beating cancer. If you have suffered as a result of cancer misdiagnosis or late diagnosis, then you may be entitled to seek compensation.

One way our specialist solicitors may be able to help claim medical negligence is by using the legal term "material contribution". This legal term has been simplified in the past few years to be "Prove a breach of duty and prove that the breach materially contributed to the injury"

Our team of friendly and expert solicitors can help to assess your case and give you the free advice you need so you can make a decision on how to proceed with your case. Call the team on 0330 355 9210 or email for your free claim assessment.