Italian doctors being sued after 'treating woman with cancer for months on the wrong breast'

Woman’s lawyer says the mistake has set back her chances of survival by 20 per cent

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The Independent Online

A woman in Italy is reportedly suing her local hospital after she received four months of cancer treatment on the wrong breast.

The 40-year-old woman found a lump in her left breast, and was diagnosed with breast cancer at an oncological hospital in the northern town of Rimini, according to the local news outlet TGCOM24.

She began receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment, but after four months and her 22nd session noticed a burn mark on her healthy right breast.

After confronting her doctor, who reportedly confirmed she had indeed been treated on the wrong breast, the woman has now brought a case against the health authority for medical negligence, and is claiming €800,000 (£650,000).

According to her lawyer, Roberto Urbinati, the mistake has set back the patient’s chances of survival by “no less than 20 per cent”, in a case that is unprecedented in the country.

“It’s the first case in Italy of such an error,” he told TGCOM24.

“In the world, only in the United States in Pennsylvania, [has there been] a similar [case] to that at the Rimini hospital,” Mr Urbinati said.

The woman was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. The investigating judge is still assessing the claim, and a hearing that was scheduled for last Tuesday has been postponed, The Local reported.