Almost 1,100 women are caught up in a breast cancer scandal after their treatment was botched by an surgeon working for the NHS, according to a report in The Telegraph.
Many have been forced to undergo additional operations because of failures to remove cancerous tissue.
The NHS now faces a mutli-million compensation bill while the surgeon at the centre of the scandal is under investigation by the police and the medical authorities.
The scandal centres around Ian Paterson, a former consultant surgeon at Solihull Hospital in the west Midlands. He also worked privately in the west Midlands.
He was found to have used an experimental technique called “cleavage sparing” when carrying out breast removal, which left a small amount of tissue for cosmetic reasons.
The procedure breached national guidelines which state that leaving tissue after a mastectomy increases the likelihood of cancer recurring.
The first women were notified by the NHS that they were at risk two years ago, when the Sunday Telegraph disclosed the scandal.
Now inquires by the newspaper have discovered that the number of women affected has grown from 700 in 2011 to 1,079 now, dozens of women have had to undergo new treatment, one legal firm alone is representing 400 women who were treated by Mr Paterson, while the NHS has settled around 10 cases in secret, with £150,000 the biggest payout yet.
The Cancer Intelligence Network, which collates and analyses public information relating to cancer, said that 237 of the women treated by Mr Paterson at Solihull Hospital had 'excessive breast tissue' remaining following their operation.
Mr Paterson was suspended by the General Medical Council (GMC) in 2011 and a full review was also ordered of the NHS’s own actions.