A WOMAN'S terminal cancer diagnosis could have been prevented if staff acted sooner, Worcestershire Royal Hospital has admitted.

The Worcestershire woman, who has asked not to be identified, had her breast cancer misdiagnosed over a number of years resulting in it spreading to her lungs.

Worcestershire Royal Hospital NHS Trust has admitted liability for the misdiagnosis, saying it is with its "deepest regret", and a settlement between the two parties has been made.

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After recovering from an early stage of breast cancer (non-invasive ductal carcinoma in situ) in 2006, the woman had regular mammograms to check for further lumps.

But, between 2010 and 2017, the woman was consistently misdiagnosed despite yearly mammograms and her saying something was wrong.

In 2014 she found a lump, but Worcestershire Royal Hospital reported no abnormalities, and she was discharged from the oncology department.

Then again, in 2016, she notified her GP that a lump had appeared, and she was referred to a breast clinic, where it reported no abnormalities.

It was only after her 2017 mammogram that she was diagnosed with grade one invasive papillary carcinoma - an unusual type of breast cancer.

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A CT scan found that the cancer had spread to her lungs, so she was referred to Worcestershire Royal Hospital for palliative chemotherapy.

Morgan Lister, Associate in Enable Law's Medical Negligence team, has supported the woman since the Trust issued her a letter saying there would be an investigation into her care and inviting her to a meeting.

He said: "On multiple occasions, our client went to the Trust as she suspected something was wrong, but her illness was missed each time, even though it should have been spotted and investigated. With the settlement, our client can now move into new accommodation that will meet her needs and help her live as full a life as possible." 

Matthew Hopkins, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We recognise the patient’s life has been affected by the delay in diagnosis and have directly offered our sincerest apologies and deep regret.

“As with any case that falls below the standard of care expected, we are reviewing our processes and training to help ensure something like this doesn’t happen again. 

“No settlement can compensate for misdiagnosis, but a resolution between the Trust and patient has now been reached.”