A woman´s claim for the misdiagnosis of a cancerous mole has been settled for an undisclosed six-figure amount after her GP was threatened with court action.
The unnamed woman made her claim for the misdiagnosis of a cancerous mole after attending her GP surgery and expressing concerns that a mole on her foot had changed in appearance and was itchy. The doctor she saw on her first visit told her there was nothing to be concerned about and, when she returned to the surgery requesting she be referred to a specialist, she was given the same advice by a second doctor. Neither doctor measured the mole.
After several months had passed – during which time the mole had continued to itch – the woman returned to her GP surgery again asking to be referred to a specialist. The third doctor she saw suggested slicing the top off of the mole after deciding she could not remove it. The woman declined and was on this occasion referred to her local hospital.
At the hospital, the woman was seen by a dermatologist. The dermatologist removed part of the mole and sent it for a biopsy. The tests showed the mole was cancerous and the woman underwent surgery to have the whole of the mole removed. Later tests revealed that the cancer had metastasised, and she is now undergoing further treatment for secondary cancer.
After seeking legal advice, the woman made a claim for the misdiagnosis of a cancerous mole against her GP surgery and the doctor that had first seen her. In her claim, she alleged – with the backing of expert opinion – that if the care she had received when she first attended the GP surgery had been appropriate, the mole would have been removed sooner, the cancer treated earlier and her prognosis better.
The GP surgery and the doctor denied negligence and contested the claim. However, once court proceedings were brought, the defendants agreed to settle the claim for the misdiagnosis of a cancerous mole for an undisclosed six-figure amount.