Doctors’ mistake in diagnosing cancer: Cancer treatment is infamous for its brutality. Nevertheless, individuals are willing to endure almost anything to extend or safeguard their lives.
However, one patient, who underwent nine rounds of immunotherapy along with surgery, discovered two years later that it had all been in vain after being informed she had been misdiagnosed with skin cancer.
Megan Royle, a 33-year-old theater make-up artist from East Yorkshire, was left in a state of “complete shock” upon receiving the news from doctors, despite having undergone extensive and invasive procedures.
Patient’s opinion about Doctors’ mistake in diagnosing cancer
Megan expressed her struggle to comprehend the situation, stating to the PA news agency, “It’s truly unbelievable that something like this could happen, and to this day, I still have no explanation as to how or why it occurred. I spent two years believing I had cancer, undergoing all the treatments, only to be told it wasn’t cancer at all.”
In 2019, Megan was referred by her GP for a skin evaluation at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital after reporting an enlarged, itchy, and crusted mole on her arm.
A biopsy was performed, and at 29 years old, Megan was informed that she had been diagnosed with melanoma, a type of skin cancer. She was subsequently referred to the specialized cancer department at Royal Marsden Hospital, where her biopsy was reviewed and once again confirmed the diagnosis of melanoma.
As a result, she underwent a surgical procedure to remove the “cancer,” involving a 2 cm wide tissue incision.
Due to the potential impact of the immunotherapy treatment on her fertility, Megan took the step of freezing her eggs.
Informing the patient about the mistake of Doctors in diagnosing cancer
In May 2021, after completing nine rounds of treatment, she received the news that there were no signs of the disease and she was considered clear. However, when her medical records were reviewed and scanned by a new hospital, the misdiagnosis came to light.
“It took a while for the reality to sink in when the doctors sat me down and told me,” she recounted. “You would think the immediate feeling would be relief, and to some extent, it was, but I would say the predominant emotions were frustration and anger.”
“When I was initially told I had cancer and needed surgery and potentially fertility-affecting treatment, I simply agreed to do whatever was necessary.”
“At that time, I wasn’t considering having children, but it was always a part of my future plans, so egg preservation was a decision I didn’t hesitate to make. Overall, I managed to come to terms with it fairly quickly, as difficult as it was.”
However, she continued, “Then, two years later, to be informed that I had received treatment and lived with the worry, only to realize I never had cancer. To be honest, I haven’t been in a good place for quite some time, as strange as that may sound.”
She sought the assistance of medical negligence specialists, Hudgell Solicitors, who negotiated an out-of-court settlement with the Royal Marsden NHS Trust and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which hosts a shared pathology service utilized by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
Matthew Gascoigne, a barrister, remarked, “This was an entirely uncommon case as Megan received an erroneous diagnosis of skin cancer, which understandably had significant psychological repercussions given her young age.”
“This was further compounded by the need for surgery and being informed that the only available treatment might impact her fertility.”
“She endured illness throughout her treatment, making it a challenging time for her. Lastly, the psychological impact intensified upon learning that she never had cancer at all.”
“All of this could have been avoided. The discovery was only made when her post-treatment care was transferred to another trust.”
“If she hadn’t switched, she might still be under the impression that she was in remission, unaware that cancer could potentially return.”
Megan has now received compensation from both trusts. A spokesperson for The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust apologized to Megan Royle for the distress caused by her experience and expressed satisfaction that a settlement had been reached.
A spokesperson for North West London Pathology, a joint partnership hosted by Imperial College NHS Trust, also expressed deep apologies for the inconvenience caused to Mrs. Royle and acknowledged the careless mistake that had been made.
“While no settlement can undo the impact this has had, we are pleased that a settlement has been reached.”