Suffolk

Addenbrooke's Hospital pays out for breast cancer miss

Claire Radcliffe
Image caption Claire Radcliffe warned other young women to "trust their instincts"

A woman who had a double mastectomy 18 months after being told she did not have breast cancer has been given a six-figure payout from a hospital.

Claire Radcliffe had a scan at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge when she was concerned about a lump in her breast but was given the all-clear.

Eighteen months later, she was diagnosed with cancer and had both breasts removed, aged 24.

The hospital apologised and said it was not the outcome "we would have wished".

Ms Radcliffe, from Newmarket in Suffolk, said she wanted to raise awareness among other young women and warned them to "trust their instincts".

'Living with worry'

After she first raised concerns, when she was just 22, her ultrasound scan was "interpreted incorrectly" and a benign fibroadenoma was diagnosed. She was reassured and discharged.

She returned to her GP 18 months later when she had new symptoms, including feeling "very fatigued" and an inverted nipple.

The GP referred her back to the hospital where she was diagnosed with an invasive carcinoma.

Ms Radcliffe, now 29, said: "It completely changed everything, I was off work for a year, I had to go through so much treatment, I felt incapable of doing as much as I used to.

"And for such a young woman to lose something so important to your identity physically is just really hard and it did impact me mentally."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Claire Radcliffe had a scan at Addenbrooke's Hospital when she was 22 but was wrongly told her tumour was benign

Ms Radcliffe said she was still "living with worry" as her risk of secondary occurrence was higher than if the cancer had been diagnosed earlier.

"I hope this doesn't happen again for another young woman," she said.

Ms Radcliffe, who claimed damages through Tees Law, would not disclose the sum but said it was six figures.

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."

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