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Breast Cancer: Partial op warning

A study published in the British Medical Journal has suggested that women undergoing treatment for breast cancer should be warned that 20% of patients who opt for partial removal of the breast are likely to need a second operation.

The recommendation was made after researchers found that 1 in 5 English women who opted for breast conserving surgery rather than mastectomy, needed further surgery.

45,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer every year in England. Of these women, 58% choose to have part of the breast removed (breast conserving surgery). When combined with radiotherapy this produces similar survival rates to mastectomy surgery alone.

However, as some tumours are difficult to detect, breast conserving surgery may result in inadequate removal resulting in the need to have further surgery.

The report also highlighted that reoperation rates vary between NHS trusts.

Swain & Co.’s specialist medical negligence solicitors comment that cosmetic considerations are an important and women should be made aware of the local re-operation rates after partial breast removal along with the likelihood of proceeding to mastectomy.

As with all cancer treatments, patients must be given the potential benefits and drawbacks of the options of treatments. This will enable them to make informed decisions. This is important as finding out later can lead to a great deal of anxiety for women undergoing treatment for breast cancer.


Facing cancer is a scary time and early diagnosis and treatment is essential to increase chances of successful treatment and increased survival rates.

Sadly, we often represent clients that have suffered from delays in diagnosis and delays in treatment for their cancer which leads to complications.

At a time of distress, anxiety and uncertainty, Swain & Co.’s experience medical negligence lawyers are there to get them the answers they need and, where appropriate, the compensation they deserve.

We offer free first advice and can act on a no win no fee basis.

If you have suffered as a result of doctors negligence or medical malpractice in relation to your cancer treatment - Call us for free today on 0800 0351 999


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