‘We are extremely sorry’: Addenbrooke’s Hospital pay out six-figure sum after failing to spot breast cancer in woman
A woman from Cambridgeshire has received a six-figure sum from Addenbrooke’s Hospital after they missed her breast cancer in 2012.
Claire Radcliffe from Newmarket had a scan at the Cambridge hospital after she found a lump in her breast when she was just 22-years-old.
Her ultrasound was misreported by the hospital and she was reassured that she had the all-clear and was sent on her way.
Two years later, Claire noticed that one of her nipples had become inverted; she went to her GP who, again, referred her to Addenbrooke's Hospital.
It was then that she was diagnosed as having a 10cm invasive cancer, which had spread to her lymph nodes.
The hospital has since said they are “extremely sorry” and that Claire's outcome was not what “we would have wished”.
She underwent radiotherapy, chemotherapy and a double mastectomy, with immediate reconstruction. She was also put on hormone treatment.
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Claire said: “When I developed cancer. It's really important that women in their 20s realise that just because you're young it doesn't mean that you can't get breast cancer.
“It's really important to check your breasts regularly and if you find any changes at all, you need to seek help straight away – don't leave it.
“You also need to trust your gut instinct. You know your own body, if you think there's something wrong, be prepared to question and challenge the doctors.”
After a four-year legal case against Addenbrooke's brought by Tees Law, Claire has been awarded an undisclosed six figure settlement.
Janine Collier of Tees Law said: “Claire is an extremely brave young woman, and it has been a genuine privilege to help her.
“Because Claire was extremely young at initial presentation, the Trust Protocol limited the investigations to a physical examination and an ultrasound scan.
“The NHS is clearly very stretched and overall does a fantastic job, but cases such as Claire's highlight real opportunities for learning to improve outcomes for patients in the future.”
Addenbrooke's Hospital said: “As a dedicated cancer treatment hospital we acknowledge this case and are extremely sorry. It is not an outcome we would have wished.
“We would reassure patients that the understanding, diagnosis and subsequent management of breast cancer has increased exponentially in the last seven years.”