Personality claims misdiagnosis

Cancer sufferer told changes in her breasts were ‘normal’

File photo: Matthew Mirabelli

File photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Well-known personality and mother-of-two Nirvana Ciavola Azzopardi claimed in a judicial protest filed yesterday she was suffering from advanced cancer after being misdiagnosed by her consultant.

Nirvana, 39, claimed that her breast cancer, which was the most aggressive grade, spread to stage four because it was not diagnosed, as a result of the consultant's negligence.

It had now progressed through her lymph nodes and was attacking her liver.

In the protest, Nirvana, who has two sons, aged four and nine, said that during her first visit to the consultant at the end of 2010, she was told that the change was “normal and acceptable” and the doctor used the words “100 per cent nothing” following a breast examination.

Following this appointment, the change in her breasts became more noticeable and in April 2011 she went back to the consultant to be re-examined.

The consultant suggested it would be sensible to undergo a mammogram to clarify the reasons for the change.

By doing this, the consultant in a tacit manner realised that her previous medical advice was “completely incorrect”, said Nirvana, a former television presenter and producer.

The consultant tried to remedy the situation, by which time it was too late, she added.

Despite being sent for a mammogram, which is not the best way to examine women under the age of 40, and after consulting another doctor, she was told to go to the Breast Clinic at Mater Dei Hospital.

Following the examinations at the hospital, which diagnosed her with “triple negative breast cancer”, it transpired that she had previously received incorrect medical advice, Nirvana said.

In a letter sent on December 5, 2011, the consultant had told Nirvana that she was not responsible for what had happened.

Nirvana held the consultant responsible for damages saying she reserved the right to seek further legal redress because of the doctor’s “abusive” behaviour.

Lawyers Adrian Delia and Kris Scicluna signed the protest.



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