Thursday 23 February 2017

Woman settles High Court action over alleged failure to diagnose cancer in Breast Check

Tim Healy

The retired teacher sued the HSE over an alleged failure to diagnose breast cancer in a 2011 Breast Check mammogram and over an alleged delay in diagnosis.
The retired teacher sued the HSE over an alleged failure to diagnose breast cancer in a 2011 Breast Check mammogram and over an alleged delay in diagnosis.

A WOMAN has settled her High Court action over an alleged failure to diagnose cancer when she took part in the HSE's Breast Check screening programme.

Eileen Fennessy (69) claimed she would would not have had to have chemotherapy or a right side mastectomy if a correct diagnosis had been made.

The retired teacher sued the HSE over an alleged failure to diagnose breast cancer in a 2011 Breast Check mammogram and over an alleged delay in diagnosis.

Her counsel Pat Treacy told the court Ms Fennessy's GP found a large mass in her right breast in October 2012 and referred her for an ultrasound and a biopsy.

She was shown to have a Grade 2 carcinoma and began chemotherapy straight away with a right side mastectomy carried out in April 2013.

Counsel told the court it was Ms Fennessy's contention the chemotherapy and mastectomy would not have been required if the correct diagnosis had been made when she had the mammogram in 2011.

While Ms Fennessy is now cancer free, the underlying diagnosis for her is extremely serious and devastating, he said.

When the case came back before the court today Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that, following talks, the matter was settled and could be struck out.

Ms Fennessy, The Meadows, Piltown, Co Kilkenny, had sued the HSE, which oversees the Breast Check National Breast Screening Programme, for alleged negligence and breach of duty.

She had mammograms in November 2002 and 2004 which showed normal. She underwent a mammogram on October 23, 2009, and  November 25, 2011, both of which were reported as showing no evidence of cancer.

However in October 2012, she attended her GP who found a large mass in her right breast and referred her to Waterford  Regional Hospital. A biopsy after an ultasound found a grade 2 carcinoma.

It was claimed the mammogram of November 25, 2011 was reported as normal but in fact was suspicious of cancer and Ms Fennessy should have been recalled for further investigation.

It is claimed that Ms Fennessy suffered a misdiagnosis and delay in diagnosis and there was a failure to refer her for futher investigation after that mammogram.

The HSE admitted a breach of duty in the case but denied other claims.

Online Editors

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News