Teenager’s life blighted by delayed cancer diagnosis and treatment

  • September 26, 2018
  • Cassie has been left with nerve damage on her left side after seeking help for a lump on her forehead – her dermatologist failed to tell her it needed treatment and didn’t even invite her back for a follow-up appointment. Charlotte Measures took up her case and secured £250,000 compensation for the teenager.

    Have you suffered because of delays in diagnosis or treatment? We can help

    Cassie had been to her GP, concerned about a lump on her forehead, but was told that it was cosmetic and so would not be dealt with by the NHS. She went to see a private dermatologist, who removed the lump as far as he could and sent it off for analysis, telling her that if she heard nothing further, it meant there was nothing to worry about. He did not remove a wider area round the lump.

    Cassie, who was then in her late teens, heard nothing, in spite of the fact that the lump was found to be suspicious and full removal of the whole area treatment was recommended. She went back to the dermatologist the following year, when another lump appeared in the same place. Even then, he didn’t give her the earlier results, and failed to follow up quickly; he attempted to remove the new lump himself, rather than referring her to a plastic surgeon. He delayed further by sending the new lump off for testing, despite knowing that the previous one had been suspicious.

    Surgery causes further problems

    Again, the second lump was found to be suspicious – complete removal was advised. A year after the first lump appeared, Cassie finally had the new lump removed and also had checks for melanoma, which was found in her lymph nodes. This led to surgery, which left her with weakness in her left arm and shoulder, facial tremors and limited movement on her left side.

    Her dermatologist apologised to her for not passing on the original results and not making sure that she had a follow-up appointment.

    Charlotte said: “Cassie was only a teenager at the time – she was in the middle of taking her A Levels, and this was shattering for her. If she had had the lump removed properly when the first results were known, it’s very likely that she wouldn’t have needed any further treatment. That might well also have been the case, when she came back with the further lump, if action had been taken immediately.

    “The delays, which led to the surgery, have affected her life considerably – it is not at all clear that she will recover from her difficulties.”

    If you have suffered because of medical mistakes, we can help you. Call us on 0800 050 1668.

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