Agony of woman wrongly diagnosed with liver cancer

A WOMAN who was wrongly diagnosed with terminal cancer has spoken of how she endured months of unnecessary chemotherapy.

Ann Milne from Aberdeenshire says a year of her life has been "stolen" after she was wrongly diagnosed with incurable liver cancer. Picture: Central Scotland News Agency

Ann Milne, 56, underwent the treatment after she said doctors told her she had incurable liver cancer in 2008.

She told her family that she was near the end of her life.

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But a year after getting treatment, she found out the diagnosis was wrong.

Mrs Milne spoke for the first time yesterday of how the medical error put her through six months of painful treatment, after she came to a financial settlement with NHS Grampian several years on.

Lawyers representing her confirmed that at no point did Mrs Milne have cancer, whether terminal or treatable.

She said: “We feel that the NHS stole a year of our lives – not only the pain and discomfort of unnecessary chemotherapy but because of the mental strain they put the whole family and friends through.”

The mother-of-three went on: “I realised a year after my first session of chemotherapy in 2008 that doctors had made a mistake which completely shocked me.

“I said to my family I was dying, which is the sickening aspect to this. All I could do was laugh when I heard them say I didn’t have cancer.

“My husband Graeme couldn’t believe what he was hearing because he sat next to me.”

Mrs Milne, of New Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire, had previously successfully battled breast cancer after being diagnosed with the disease in October 2002.

She said the unnecessary treatment has left her with a health problems. Mrs Milne said: “I have difficulty walking. The chemotherapy has completely changed me. I’m scared to go into hospitals especially when I see doctors.

“It’s taken six years for me to speak about this and for a proper apology to be made.

“I definitely think I would have been healthier if I hadn’t undergone chemotherapy when I was perfectly fine.”

Mrs Milne has now settled a claim for what is understood to be a six-figure sum after she raised proceedings against NHS Grampian.

Lawyer Gerry Forbes, from Quantum Claims in Aberdeen, represented Mrs Milne and said of the case: “This has been a horrific experience for Mrs Milne and her family.

“She has been left permanently damaged by the effects of the unnecessary treatment following the misdiagnosis made at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in 2008. We have been able to reach a negotiated settlement with NHS Grampian’s lawyers.

“We hope that the closure of the legal claim will allow Mrs Milne to move on from this.”

NHS Grampian confirmed the case had concluded but declined to comment further.

Mrs Milne’s ordeal concluded just a month after NHS Grampian paid a five-figure sum to another woman who was misdiagnosed with cancer. Denise Clark, 34, of Aberdeen, said she planned her own funeral after being told she had terminal cancer in 2011, only to find out it was a mistake.

She also wrote farewell letters to her children Harvey, 10, and Luca, 4, after being given the news at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. And she spent £10,000 pounds on treatment at an alternative therapy clinic in Spain in the hope it would prolong her life.

Ms Clark eventually began to grow concerned about how well she was feeling and asked for another scan The results showed that the growth in her pelvis was not 
malignant. The mother came to a financial settlement with NHS Grampian last month.