For obvious reasons misdiagnosis (or late diagnosis) of cancer is a serious issue. The potential implications are of course severe and could include stress, anxiety, financial hardship, missing out on essential treatments or undergoing unnecessary treatments, and in extreme cases even risk of death. That’s why it’s important that if you’ve suffered such a misdiagnosis you deserve to be compensated.
With such a serious and chronic illness as cancer the potential for misdiagnosis is increased and can occur at several different stages of treatment. Below is a brief but by no means exhaustive list of ways in which diagnostic errors can occur:
- Incorrect Diagnosis — Also termed misdiagnosis, occurs when a Doctor or other medical professional misidentifies the cancer symptoms as symptoms of some other (usually less serious) medical complaint. A perfect example of this is highlighted in this Daily Mail online article from 2014. In this case it’s alleged that Christopher Goodhead’s GP misdiagnosed his cancer symptoms as a simple case of piles. Mr Goodhead’s cancer was not properly diagnosed until 2 years later. Subsequently his widow sued for £1.25 million, her case being that her husband and father of their 4 children might have stood a chance of fighting and beating the cancer had it been diagnosed earlier, or that he would at least have survived significantly longer.
- Missed Diagnosis — A Doctor gives a patient a completely clean bill of health when in fact there are cancer symptoms that should have been picked up on but were totally missed.
- Delayed Diagnosis — A medical practitioner eventually makes the correct diagnosis of cancer but where the diagnosis should have been made sooner. This can result in a patient missing out on vital treatment that may have improved their condition or even saved their life. Delayed or late diagnosis is one of the more common forms of diagnostic error
- Failure to recognise medical complications — A Doctor makes a correct diagnosis but fails to identify medical complications or factors which aggravate the patient’s condition.
- Failure to identify a related disease, illness or condition — In this instance a Doctor successfully diagnoses the cancer but misses a disease, illness or condition that is known to often accompany the primary condition, or that has a higher risk of incidence among patients with the primary condition.
As well as the above general areas for potential negligence there are also any number of occasions during the often long cancer treatment process, at which misinterpretation or mis-analysis of tests or medical investigations can occur. These might include such things as scans, X-rays, sonography or other tests being misinterpreted. Samples of tissues, smears, biopsies etc. being mis-read. Or it may be the case that sufficient or required examinations may not have been carried out.
It’s clear from the above that treatment of such a complex and serious an illness as cancer presents a huge potential for things to go wrong. Thankfully medical staff are extremely dedicated and highly trained professionals. However with the best will in the world things can go wrong and mistakes can occur.
Do I Have a Case?
If you think you have experienced any of the above or you have any other similar concern then you may have a valid case for negligence. In that case it’s time to find a reputable Solicitor to assess your situation. As with any medical negligence claim a Solicitor in a cancer misdiagnosis case will be seeking to establish the following:
- Was your Doctor at fault to the extent that they did not provide the expected and required level of care in dealing with a serious illness such as cancer?
- Did you suffer actual harm, injury or loss as a direct result of this lack of care?
Another thing to consider is time limitations. There is a legal time limit by which any medical negligence compensation claim must be commenced. This is usually within 36 months (3 years) of the injury or harm having occurred. However limitation in bringing a medical negligence claim is complex and you should seek advice from a Solicitor if you are unsure.
Medical negligence claims can be a minefield. Thankfully there are Solicitors available that specialise in winning medical negligence claims. That’s where we at beenletdown.co.uk come in. We have many years’ experience and an accumulated body of specialist knowledge that means we are the best people to help you get the compensation you deserve. Just fill in our brief initial claims form or call our Freephone number. Once we have the basic details of your case you’ll be phoned back by one of our experienced medical negligence Solicitors.
We will help to establish if you have a case, and if you do we would usually offer take on your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. All initial consultations are free and at no obligation. So you have nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain. Contact us today and we can help you get the compensation you deserve.