Woman's Cancer Diagnosed As Tennis Elbow

Woman Died After Cancer Went Undetected


The daughter of a mother-of-five who died of breast cancer said doctors diagnosed her symptoms as a condition known as ‘tennis elbow’, which meant cancerous cells spread to other areas of her body.

Jill Goodrum was told she had ‘tennis elbow’ after visiting her GP in 2011 because she was struggling to lift her arms.

The condition, which is largely seen in people who do repetitive physical activity with their arms - normally serving a tennis ball or driving golf balls - causes victims to struggle to move parts of their upper body.

Further investigations did not take place until two years later in 2013, when Mrs Goodrum found a "bone-like" lump near one of her breasts.

When she went back to her doctor, tests showed she had "aggressive and invasive breast cancer", according to the Daily Mail.

The malignancy had spread to her lymph nodes and liver meaning the cancer was incurable. She died on May 21st 2014 of septicaemia during her chemotherapy treatment.

Mrs Goodrum's eldest daughter Lyndsey Todd said: “The doctor said several years ago that she had tennis elbow. She went to them with a complaint in her arm, but she felt absolutely fine in herself.

“When she was diagnosed with cancer last year, doctors said they thought she had had it for three or four years."

After extensive treatment, a scan earlier in 2014 showed that the cancer was gone from Mrs Goodrum’s breast and that there was only one enlarged lymph node.

This, coupled with the news that doctors had found drugs that could potentially control her liver cancer, left all of Mrs Goodrum's family hopeful she could make a recovery.

But when the 46-year-old returned from a holiday in April 2014, she became ill and further scans showed her cancer had returned. She died less than two months later.

In her final months before passing away, Mrs Goodrum ran a charity drive called Jill's Fundraising Journey, which has so far raised around £8,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support and local foundation Jeremiah's Journey.

If you have suffered due to misdiagnosed breast cancer or a delayed breast cancer diagnosis, our medical negligence lawyers could help you claim compensation. Call 0808 163 4557 for a free initial consultation or see our Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims page for more details.

Expert Opinion
This is a tragic case and our sympathies are with Mrs Goodrum’s family.

“Thanks to advances in medicine, we now live in an age when many cancers are treatable. However, recovery relies heavily on the cancer being diagnosed accurately and responsibility lies with all of us as patients, as well as doctors, on being aware of the symptoms to look out for.

“Early detection can be crucial to a patient’s chances of survival and as this case shows, if there are delays in the diagnosis the cancer may worsen and become incurable.

“We hope that Mrs Goodrum’s family are now being offered the support they need to help them to come to terms with their loss.”
Julie Lewis, Partner