Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Or Delayed Diagnosis

Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer amongst women, and can also occur in men. If you have been suffering from symptoms of breast cancer and your GP, or a hospital, have failed to diagnose breast cancer, or have delayed in the diagnosis of breast cancer, we can explain your legal rights and options. We understand this can be an incredibly stressful experience, so we want to provide you with some answers at a difficult time.

The most common cause of medical negligence relates to a delay in diagnosis of breast cancer or a misdiagnosis of breast cancer, despite the patient raising concerns with their GP or a hospital. In addition, a hospital may misdiagnose breast cancer from scans taken to investigate causes of pain.

Breast Cancer Delayed Diagnosis

Breast cancer has one of the highest survival rates if it is caught and treated early. However, if it is diagnosed late and it is left to spread, life expectancy is shorter.

If you have experienced a delay in breast cancer diagnosis which resulted from a doctor's failure to recognise the known symptoms of breast cancer and act accordingly, you may be able to make a medical negligence claim.

A delay in breast cancer diagnosis can lead to more intense treatments, longer courses of radiotherapy and chemotherapy and increases the likelihood a mastectomy will be necessary.

Furthermore, a delay in cancer diagnosis may decrease the sufferer's life expectancy. A delayed diagnosis is extremely upsetting for both the sufferer and the patient's family.

When Could A Delay In Breast Cancer Diagnosis Be Medical Negligence?

If you are thinking of making a delayed diagnosis claim for compensation for you physical or psychological suffering you are likely to have strong grounds for a successful claim if:

  • Symptoms: you were presenting the common symptoms of breast cancer and your physician failed to recognise this. This type of claim would be successful if it was thought that most medical professionals would have made the diagnosis where your doctor failed to.
  • Failure to refer: your GP failed to refer you to a specialist.
  • Tests: If a medical professional did not refer you for the tests which were necessary to diagnose and treat your condition, did not follow up significant test results, or analysed test results incorrectly you may be able to claim.

If your delayed diagnosis is deemed to have left you victim to substandard medical care, you should be successful in your claim. We put our faith in our doctors to work to the best of their ability to help us recover when we are unwell; a doctor has failed to do their job efficiently if they have failed to diagnose a cancer as common as breast cancer within an acceptable timescale.

What are the Costs?

1stClaims does not charge you for using our service and all initial enquiries with our Solicitors are also free of charge, so rest assured, this initial step of making an enquiry will not cost you anything.

Once one of our Solicitors has assessed the merits of your enquiry they will make a judgement on the likely chances of bringing a successful claim and if the prospects are good, they will normally offer to take your case on a No Win No Fee basis. NOTE: If your case is successful your Solicitor will deduct up to a maximum of 25% of your final settlement or compensation award as payment for their fees. You can find out more about No Win No Fee arrangements and the potential costs that can be incurred by clicking here.

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Contact Us Today

Every delayed breast cancer diagnosis case is different. If you are unsure about whether you have a valid basis for a claim or are simply unsure as to whether you wish to claim at all, we will be more than happy to talk it through with you. Our medical negligence claims team is just a click or a phone call away. 1stClaims can help you get the compensation you deserve for the unnecessary pain and suffering the negligence of a third party has put you through.

If you would like 1stClaims' expert Medical Negligence Solicitors on your side please call us free on 0800 2888 693 (from a mobile click to call: 01348 630 720) or complete our Free Claim Enquiry form now and we will be in touch with you very soon. Remember, all initial enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you.


We are here to help you from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday,
8.30am to 6pm on Saturday and 9am to 6pm on Sundays.

Forms of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is not one simple disease, there are multiple types of breast cancer.

  • Primary Breast Cancer: Primary breast cancer is localized, affecting the breasts and surrounding area such as the lymph nodes under the armpits. However there are multiple types of primary breast cancer and all develop at different rates and are of different severity.
  • DCIS: Ductal carcinoma in situ – this is a very early form of breast cancer, it is not particularly severe as it only affects the milk ducts. It is referred to as ‘non-invasive’ as it does not yet affect the rest of the breast tissue.
  • Invasive ductal breast cancer: This is the type of breast cancer that occurs when the cancer has spread from the milk ducts and has become invasive. This is the most common form of breast cancer and has the most public awareness of symptoms. Symptoms of this form of cancer include – lumps in the breast tissue, abnormalities on the skin or nipple, swelling of the skin or the armpits.
  • Invasive lobular breast cancer: This cancer occurs in the ‘lobules’ in which milk is made and stored. This form of cancer is less common than others and is commonly diagnosed as a thickening of the breast tissue is noticed.
  • Medullary breast cancer: Linked to the possession of a faulty BRCA 1 gene, therefore can recur in families. This is quite rare and is diagnosed due to the same symptoms of other breast cancers.
  • Metaplastic breast cancer: Cells have mutated into spindle or squamous cells. Less than 5 per cent of breast cancer is metaplastic.
  • Tubular breast cancer:  The survival rate after developing tubular breast cancer is very good, again occurs due to a cell mutation, cells look elongated and tubular under microscope.
  • Mucinous breast cancer: The cells look as though they are resting in mucus when examined under a microscope. Again has a slightly higher survival rate than other breast cancers.
  • Paget's disease: Most common symptom for this type of breast cancer is a red, scaly rash around the nipple or on the nipple itself. 50% of patients with Paget’s disease will also have a lump inside the breast.
  • Inflammatory breast cancer: Extremely fast growing breast cancer, the breast will become red and inflamed. The cancer can present itself very rapidly.
  • Malignant phyllodes tumour: this type of tumour is a smooth, hard lump of tissue that can occur anywhere in the breast. It may often be mistaken for an alternative disorder before being diagnosed as a cancerous tumour.
  • Triple negative: this means that the cancer has tested negative for all the common causes of breast cancer, these being: estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and HER2 proteins.
  • Second primary diagnosis: This means you have already suffered with breast cancer and you have been diagnosed with cancer again, either in the same breast or the opposite. This can be a recurrence of the original cancer, or a new cancer.

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