Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims

According to statistics published by  Breast Cancer UK, breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. On average there are 56,000 new cases of breast cancer every year.

However, despite awareness of the condition, breast cancer can be diagnosed late by a GP or other healthcare professional or mistakes can be made in the interpretation of test results following a biopsy or mammogram. This means a woman could wrongly be given the all-clear when she should have been diagnosed with the condition.

If you believe that your breast cancer was diagnosed late and / or mistakes were made in the interpretation of your test results, you could be entitled to make a breast cancer misdiagnosis claim.

Early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer is crucial to prevent the spread of the disease and improve the chances of making a full recovery. Devonshires Claims’ experienced cancer negligence solicitors support victims in making a compensation claim for the late diagnosis of cancer or negligent treatment on a No Win No Fee basis.

For more information or to start your free case evaluation, contact our experts on 0333 900 8787, email or complete our online form

Claim Compensation for the Late Diagnosis of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer negligence claims may be brought against a GP, radiologist, consultant, hospital or other healthcare provider for:

  • The failure of a GP to examine a patient or to examine a patient correctly
  • The failure to advise a patient to return if a suspicious lump changes or grows
  • Mistakes by pathologists in reviewing the tissue samples
  • Mistakes by radiologists in reviewing the mammogram
  • Delays in a GP referring a patient for a bioposy when presenting with the symptoms associated with breast cancer
  • Delays in referring a patient to a specialist or for CT / MRI scans / mammograms
  • The failure to follow up / investigate abnormal mammogram or test result
  • Mistakes made in the surgery to remove breast cancer tissue i.e. not all of the cancer tissue was removed or injuries resulted from negligent surgery or infection.
  • A surgical breast reconstruction was not done to the appropriate standard or mistakes were made in breast reconstruction surgery
  • Mistakes made in the interpretation of test results and wrongly diagnosing a patient with breast cancer—leading to unnecessary surgery or other treatments.
  • Any other situation in which the medical care received may have been below acceptable standards during the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer
  • Delays in the diagnosis of male breast cancer. This condition is rare and men are often not referred for further investigation.

Delays in Diagnosing and Treating Breast Cancer Can Have Serious Consequences

In general, those people diagnosed with early (stage 1 or 2) cancers have a better 1 year survival than those diagnosed with late (stage 4) cancer.

The consequences of a late or incorrect breast cancer diagnosis can include

  • The need for more invasive and intense treatment
  • Shortened life expectancy
  • Unnecessary removal of lymph nodes from the armpit
  • Anxiety
  • Deformity of the breast
  • Lymphoedema, which includes painful swelling of the arm

Compensation for Mistakes Made in the Diagnosis or Treatment of Breast Cancer

The compensation payout could provide for:

  • Specialist private surgery or treatment to recover from breast cancer and the consequences of the cancer
  • Necessary care and assistance
  • Rehabilitation or home adaptations
  • Loss of earnings
  • Expenses (e.g. travel costs)

Devonshires Claims’ experienced cancer misdiagnosis solicitors support victims of medical negligence to make a breast cancer negligence claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

For more information on making a compensation claim or to start your free case evaluation, contact our experts on   0333 900 8787, email or complete our online form.

Read Our FAQs

“Breast cancer is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells. To better understand breast cancer, it helps to understand how any cancer can develop.

Cancer occurs as a result of mutations, or abnormal changes, in the genes responsible for regulating the growth of cells and keeping them healthy.”


what is breast cancer


There are various types of breast cancer, and these include:

  • Non-invasive – this type is usually detected via mammogram and is found in the ducts of the breast. It is not able to spread outside of the breast
  • Invasive – This can spread outside of the breast and makes up around 80% of all breast cancer cases
  • Other – These can include inflammatory breast cancer, invasive lobular breast cancer and Paget’s disease of the breast

It is treated by:

  • 81% Surgery
  • 34% Chemotherapy
  • 63% Radiotherapy



Symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • A lump (or area of thickened breast tissue) or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit.
  • Changes in the shape or size of the breasts
  • Changes in the colour of the breast – the skin may look red and inflamed
  • A rash around the nipple
  • Discharge from either nipple
  • The nipple becoming sunken in the breast, or any other change in its appearance
  • A dimpling or puckering on the skin of the breast

Breast cancer is generally diagnosed by a “triple test” of investigation:

  • Clinical examination
  • Mammogram
  • Biopsy (where a pathologist reviews a sample of cells under a microscope)

According to the NHS, there is a small chance that a woman will receive a negative mammogram, despite there being cancer present. Mammograms miss approximately 1 in every 2,500 women screened.

(Source:  NHS Breast Screening Programme – “Helping you decide” leaflet July 2013)

Unfortunately false negatives do occur and breast cancer can be missed.

“The size of the tumour, the rate of tumour growth, the level of hormones, such as oestrogen and progesterone, in the woman’s body, and the skill of the radiologist can also affect the chance of a false negative result.”


Early diagnosis of breast cancer increases the chances of recovery. To claim negligence, one would need to prove that the delay in diagnosing breast cancer adversely affected your health outcome.

To make a compensation claim for breast cancer misdiagnosis or negligence, speak to one of our medical negligence compensation Solicitors today. Our team will assess whether the duty of care owed to you was breached, and whether breaching this duty of care caused your injuries.  If so, are likely to have a strong case for compensation.

The ‘limitation’ period to bring a claim for medical negligence is generally three years from the date of negligence or the date of reasonable knowledge of the injury.  This means that if you became aware of the failure to diagnose cancer weeks, months, or even years later, the three-year period could commence from then.  In rare circumstances, the Court may use its discretion to extend the limitation period, but only for exceptional reasons, so it is important to contact us as soon as possible.  The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can begin our investigations and the sooner we can start to assist with your treatment and recovery.

Absolutely!; Devonshires Claims can provide a ‘No Win – No Fee’ claims service to support patients obtain compensation for the late diagnosis or breast cancer or mistakes made in cancer treatment and surgery.

Under a  No Win No Fee’ arrangement, which is also known as a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement’ , you will not be charged any costs if your case is not successful*.

For more information on our ‘No Win – No Fee’ agreement, please click here.


If your breast cancer was diagnosed late or you received a poor standard of cancer treatment, your compensation payout could provide for:

  • Specialist medical treatment on a private basis
  • Rehabilitation and physiotherapy
  • Medical aids and home adaptations
  • Financial support for the loss of earnings, including future earnings such as pension payments
  • Financial support for the recovery of expenses eg. travel
  • Specialist care and support

The compensation payout for cancer misdiagnosis can only be determined once we understand the full impact of disease and the delay in diagnosis on your life and wellbeing.

Breast Cancer Statistics in the UK


  • There are around 11,500 breast cancer deaths in the UK every year, that’s 32 every day (2016-2018).
  • Breast cancer is the 4th most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for 7% of all cancer deaths (2018).
  • In females in the UK, breast cancer is the 2nd most common cause of cancer death, with around 11,500 deaths in 2018.
  • In males in the UK, breast cancer is not among the 20 most common causes of cancer death, with around 95 deaths in 2018.
  • Mortality rates for breast cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 90+ (2016-2018).
  • Each year almost half of all breast cancer deaths (48%) in the UK are in people aged 75 and over (2016-2018).
  • Since the early 1970s, breast cancer mortality rates have decreased by almost two-fifths (39%) in the UK. Rates in females have decreased by more than a third (36%), and rates in males have decreased by more than two-fifths (43%).
  • Over the last decade, breast cancer mortality rates have decreased by around a fifth (19%) in the UK. Rates in females have decreased by a sixth (17%), and rates in males have remained stable.
  • Mortality rates for breast cancer are generally lower in females of non-White minority ethnicity, compared with the White ethnic group, in England and Wales (2017-2019). See the publication Mortality from leading causes of death by ethnic group, England and Wales.(link is external)
  • Mortality rates for breast cancer are projected to fall by 26% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 31 deaths per 100,000 females by 2035.
  • Breast cancer deaths in England are more common in females living in the most deprived areas. There is no association for males.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in the UK, with 54,724 new cases in 20171. Breast cancer is rare in men, with around 400 new cases diagnosed each year in the UK.


breast cancer statistics UK



Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in women and the second most common cancer overall. There were over 2 million new cases in 2018. The top 25 countries with the highest rates of breast cancer in 2018 are given in the table below.


Belgium had the highest rate of breast cancer in women, followed by Luxembourg.

RankCountryAge-standardised rate per 100,000
4France (metropolitan)99.1
5New Caledonia (France)98.0
10New Zealand92.6

How to Make Compensation Claims for Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis

If you feel that your GP, radiologist, consultant or other healthcare provider was negligent and responsible for the late diagnosis or misdiagnosis of breast cancer, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim.

Breast cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the UK with nearly 11,500 women and 85 men dying from breast cancer every year. But if detected early, treatments are available which can prolong life.

Unfortunately, mistakes in breast cancer diagnosis are being made. At Devonshires Claims our highly experienced cancer negligence solicitors have helped patients throughout England and Wales obtain compensation which reflected this negligence and provided financial support for medical treatment, specialist care and aids and loss of earnings.

For more information or to start your free case evaluation, contact our experts today on 0333 900 8787, email or complete our online form.

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What our clients say:
I have had a very good experience working with Devonshires. Katie Hughes is very professional and competent. She has been very efficient. I feel she has worked hard to achieve a good outcome in my case and has always been polite and caring. I would certainly recommend Devonshires. - L.S.
I would like to thank Devonshire Claims, for the prompt and thoughtful, handling of my claim. I received great customer service, there was always someone at the end of the phone, to explain, details to me, answer questions, and keep me updated as to what was happening and when I was very happy with the service, and I highly recommend. - L.W.
My personal experience of working with Devonshires has been a positive one. I feel my solicitor did her very best to achieve a positive outcome for my case. A Clinical Negligence case is long, stressful and emotional and can have its complications but throughout this process my solicitors approach was kind caring and understanding while doing her best to extract vital information from me needed to support my case. - Emma Bates

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