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Mum has breasts removed after doctors wrongly diagnose her with cancer

Mum has breasts removed after doctors wrongly diagnose her with cancer

Traumatised mother-of-two spent months going through gruelling chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery because bungling doctors misdiagnosed her with triple negative breast cancerSarah Boyle left traumatised after going through gruelling, radical treatmentsBungling Royal Stoke University Hospital medics misdiagnosed her in late 2016 Pathologist, who examines tissue samples, misreported the cells as cancerous They told her she had…


Traumatised mother-of-two spent months going through gruelling chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery because bungling doctors misdiagnosed her with triple negative breast cancer

  • Sarah Boyle left traumatised after going through gruelling, radical treatments
  • Bungling Royal Stoke University Hospital medics misdiagnosed her in late 2016 
  • Pathologist, who examines tissue samples, misreported the cells as cancerous 
  • They told her she had aggressive form of cancer and needed treatment urgently
  • Had both breasts removed and implants inserted – which increases cancer risk

A mother-of-two has been left traumatised after bungling doctors wrongly told her she had breast cancer and put her through several rounds of unnecessary chemotherapy. 

Sarah Boyle, from Staffordshire, was misdiagnosed with triple negative breast cancer at Royal Stoke University Hospital at the end of 2016 when the person who examined her tissue samples wrongly identified cells as cancerous. 

The 28-year-old was put through gruelling chemotherapy, which saw her lose most of her hair and left her drained.

She also underwent a bilateral mastectomy – the surgical removal of both breasts – to ‘stop the cancer spreading’ and had reconstructive surgery to put breast implants in their place.

Sarah Boyle (pictured with sons Teddy, right, and Louis) has been left traumatised after bungling doctors misdiagnosed her with an aggressive form of breast cancer

The 28-year-old pictured before the treatments

Mrs Boyle after several rounds of gruelling chemo

The 28-year-old (left, before the treatment and right, after) was put through several rounds of gruelling chemo, which saw her lose most of her hair. She also underwent a bilateral mastectomy – the surgical removal of both breasts – to stop the cancer spreading

Medics only realised their error several months later in July 2017 – by which point the damage was already done. 

The blunder came when a histopathologist, who examines tissue samples for hospitals, misreported the cells as cancerous when they weren’t. 

Mrs Boyle has since received the added blow that her breast implants puts her at risk of developing cancer in the future.

She says she is still dealing with the psychological trauma caused by the ordeal.

Mrs Boyle, who lives in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with husband Steven, 31, and her two children Teddy and Louis, said: ‘The past few years have been incredibly difficult for me and my family.

‘Being told I had cancer was awful, but then to go through all of the treatment and surgery to then be told it was unnecessary was traumatising.

‘As if that wasn’t bad enough, I am now worried about the possibility of actually developing cancer in the future because of the type of implants I have and I am also worried about complications that I may face because of my chemotherapy.

‘While nothing will change what I’ve been through, I really need some answers on what is being done to make sure nobody else suffers in the same way I have.’

Doctors only realised several months later that they had made a mistake, after Mrs Boyle had undergone chemotherapy

Doctors only realised several months later that they had made a mistake, after Mrs Boyle had undergone chemotherapy

Doctors only realised several months later that they had made a mistake, after Mrs Boyle had undergone chemotherapy

Mrs Boyle says she still struggles with the psychological trauma from her ordeal

The hospital has admitted it was at fault after Mrs Boyle brought legal action against them

She is pictured with her husband Steven, 31

The hospital has admitted it was at fault after Mrs Boyle brought legal action against them. She is pictured, right, with her husband Steven, 31

WHAT IS TRIPLE  NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER?

A type of cancer that tests negative for the three most common receptors which normally fuel breast cancer, making them harder to target. 

These results mean the growth of the cancer is not fueled by the hormones estrogen and progesterone, or by the HER2 protein. 

So, triple-negative breast cancer does not respond to hormonal therapy medicines or medicines that target HER2 protein receptors.  

It means more radical treatments are needed to target the cells. 

About 10-20 per cent of breast cancers are triple-negative breast cancers. 

Mrs Boyle was initially told her cancer treatment may lead to fertility issues, but fortunately she went on to have her second child, Louis, who is now seven-months-old.

But she said was ‘heartbroken’ that she couldn’t breastfeed him due to her treatments. 

Mrs Boyle hired specialist medical negligence lawyers who have now secured an admission of liability from University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust.
Sarah Sharples, a legal expert at Irwin Mitchell solicitors who is representing Sarah, said: ‘This is a truly shocking case in which a young mother has faced heartbreaking news and a gruelling period of extensive treatment, only to be told that it was not necessary.

‘The entire experience has had a huge impact on Sarah in many ways.

‘While we welcome that the NHS Trust has admitted to the clear failings, we are yet to hear if any improvements have been put in place to prevent something like this happening again.

‘We are also deeply concerned following reports surrounding the type of implants Sarah has, with suspicions over their potential link to a rare form of cancer.

‘Understandably, Sarah has a number of questions that need to be answered with regards to this and it has caused her significant distress.’

Bungling medics at Royal Stoke University Hospital (pictured) misdiagnosed her at the end of 2016 and only realised their mistake in July 2017

Bungling medics at Royal Stoke University Hospital (pictured) misdiagnosed her at the end of 2016 and only realised their mistake in July 2017

A spokesman from University Hospital of North Midlands NHS Trust said: ‘A misdiagnosis of this kind is exceptionally rare and we understand how devastating this has been for Sarah and her family.

‘In addition to an unreserved apology to Sarah, the findings of the investigation have been shared with her and the case is now part of an on-going legal claim with which the Trust is co-operating fully.

‘Ultimately the misreporting of the biopsy was a human error so as an extra safeguard all invasive cancer diagnoses are now reviewed by a second pathologist.

‘Sarah continues to be in regular contact with the clinical team who treated her and they are always available to discuss any on-going concerns she may have.’

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Mother-of-two, 28, has breasts removed after bungling doctors wrongly diagnose her with cancer

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