Medico-legal Aspects of Delay in Diagnosis of Breast Cancer | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2573-542X

Cancer Surgery
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Review Article

Medico-legal Aspects of Delay in Diagnosis of Breast Cancer

Ian S Fentiman*

Research Oncology, Guy’s Hospital, London, UK

*Corresponding Author:
Ian S Fentiman
Research Oncology, 3rd Floor Bermondsey Wing
Guy’s Hospital, London, UK
Tel: 020 7188 7188
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: March 21, 2016; Accepted date: April 06, 2016; Published date: April 12, 2016

Citation: Ian SF (2016) Medico-legal Aspects of Delay in Diagnosis of Breast Cancer. Can Surg 1: 103. 

Copyright: © 2016 Fentiman IS. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Delayed diagnosis of breast cancer forms a substantial part of medical litigation and may sometimes result from communication failure in the multidisciplinary team. Review of such cases may result in improved patient pathways as a result of lessons learned. There is evidence that delay may significantly worsen prognosis. For a claimant to successfully pursue a case it is necessary for the medical experts to confirm that both negligence and causation have occurred. Methods are available whereby likely tumour size at the time of negligence and likelihood of axillary nodal involvement can be estimated. There are now various prognostic models that can be used to estimate the impact of delay on prognosis but as a result of improvements in treatment many cases will not meet the criteria for causation.