A former head teacher has launched legal action against a Birmingham hospital over claims a routine mammogram failed to spot pre-cancerous cells. Ann Butler, 70, of Shirley, had most of her left breast removed after medics found a cancerous lump in 2001.
When the remaining tissue was checked 10 years later by doctors at Solihull Hospital, Miss Butler alleges they should have advised her to have it taken out.
Yet it was only when she went for a private second opinion that she was told to have the tissue removed immediately because it would eventually lead to cancer returning.
The former head teacher, who worked at Brays School, Sheldon, has instructed solicitors Waldrons to look at her case.
“Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust has failed me by not advising me to have the remaining tissue removed immediately,” Miss Butler said.
“I would have seen my cancer return. I would never have waited to have the operation had I known pre-cancerous cells were present.
“If I hadn’t chosen to seek a second opinion, my outcome could have been a completely different story.”
Miss Butler was operated on in 2001 by controversial surgeon Ian Paterson who used a technique called experimental ‘cleavage sparing mastectomy’, which left some tissue in the breast.
It was previously revealed how his procedure eventually led to the recall of more than 700 women who he operated on, as the method could increase the risk of cancer returning.
The General Medical Council has since banned the surgeon from carrying out breast surgery. Miss Butler was recalled for routine mammograms in 2011.
A Solihull Hospital spokesman said: “We take the issues Miss Butler has detailed very seriously and have been liaising with her for some time regarding her concerns and the claim she is bringing against the Trust.
“We have apologised for the care and treatment she has received and continue to work with her through the concerns she has about her care.”