Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims

Misdiagnosis Of Cancer

What time scales are involved in misdiagnosis?

There are many types of cancer. In most cases; a Doctor diagnoses them in time to get suitable medical treatment. However, there are times when symptoms are missed or not interpreted correctly and cancer is misdiagnosed.

Alternatively, you may be one of the unlucky ones who are told that they have cancer when they don’t. Either way, the results can be very unpleasant, and even life threatening if cancer is left undetected for some time.

A lot depends on the type of cancer involved. If you have been suffering from cancer for months, have been to see your Doctor or G.P. and they have not diagnosed it quickly, it is likely that you can make a claim. When a claim is made, the crucial interpretation of validity is to consider what would have been done differently and what would have been the outcome if your diagnosis had been made on time. It makes no difference what type of cancer you have, since all forms are considered when it comes to compensation claims for cancer misdiagnosis.

Occasionally, cancer can be detected in the early stages but is misdiagnosed. It is possible for patients to be treated incorrectly and even to undergo surgical and medical procedures that were not required.

The impact of this can be physically and psychologically traumatic for the patient.

In cases of breast cancer, for example, women may have had breast tissue taken away in error, leaving them emotionally and physically scarred. If you or a loved one are in this position, our medical negligence team can help you to win compensation.

Our professional medical compensation team have years of experience and knowledge behind them, therefore you can be confident that you will be treated with the utmost consideration and respect. We cannot make the problem go away, but we will do all we can to put right what has been done wrong.

As with any illness or disease, a delayed diagnosis can have catastrophic results. Cancer can be a particularly worrisome and problematic disease if it is not detected and treated early. As cancer develops, it progresses through a number of stages, becoming increasingly advanced and hard to treat.

If the illness is detected early, the chances of treatment being successful are much higher. This is why it is essential that your Doctor detects cancer at the earliest possible stage — stage one, if possible.

If you are diagnosed in the later stages of cancer and if you have visited your doctor on recent occasions, the question needs to be asked as to why your diagnosis was delayed. It may be that your Doctor submitted tests, but there was no clear diagnosis made when there should have been. This is where we can step in to help. By representing you, we will liaise with all medical staff to get a full history of your case before we begin a legal claims process.

Cancer compensation claims

Your diagnosis may have been missed because:

  • Scans or X-rays not being interpreted correctly
  • A sample of tissue/ smears were misread
  • Sufficient or required examinations and investigations were not administered

In any of these situations, we can assist you to seek compensation.

All types of cancer are covered

Regardless of the type of cancer, we can assist you. We have won large amounts of compensation for our clients in claims for medical negligence. Whether it be prostate, breast, cervical, stomach, skin, or any other type of cancer, compensation can be claimed.

Making a claim

As with all forms of personal injury compensation, time limits apply. It is necessary to make your claim as soon as possible once you realise that your cancer has been misdiagnosed. A three year time limit applies, so do get expert help as soon as you realise that a mistake has been made. As well as failing to diagnose your cancer in time or correctly, a medical practitioner can be clinically negligent if any of the following occurred:

  • Referral was not made to a consultant specialist on time
  • Adequate tests were not carried out
  • Biopsies were not administered when they should have been
  • Test results were not interpreted correctly
  • Treatment was not suitable or timely

The potential implications of a cancer misdiagnosis (or late diagnosis) cannot be understated and can lead to premature death and/or shortened life expectancy. This, in turn, can result in financial hardship, the missed opportunity for potentially life-saving treatment, undergoing unnecessary treatments, and in extreme cases, the risk of death.  If you have suffered a cancer misdiagnosis, you deserve to be compensated.

Given the potential seriousness of a cancer diagnosis, the chances of being misdiagnosed are worryingly high.  Below is a brief, but by no means exhaustive, list of ways in which diagnostic errors can occur:

  • Incorrect diagnosis — Also termed misdiagnosis, this occurs when a Doctor or other medical professional misidentifies the cancer symptoms as symptoms of some other (usually less serious) medical complaint.  An example of incorrect diagnosis was highlighted in the highly publicised case of Christopher Goodhead, whose GP misdiagnosed his cancer symptoms as a case of haemorrhoids.  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 four 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 symptoms that should have been identified 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 vital treatment that may have improved the condition or even saved their life.  Delayed or late diagnosis is one of the more common forms of diagnostic error by medical professionals.
  • Failure to recognise medical complications — A Doctor makes the 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 patient with 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.

In addition to the above general areas of potential negligence, there are also any number of occasions during the often long cancer treatment process, at which misinterpretation or poor analysis of tests or medical investigations can occur.  These might include such things as scans, X-rays, ultrasound, or other tests being misinterpreted.  Samples of tissues, smears, biopsies, for example, can be misread.  Alternatively, it may be the case that required examinations may not have been carried out.

It’s clear from the above that the treatment of cancer in itself presents a 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.  This is exactly why Doctors and the NHS are professionally insured, and the body such as the NHSLA exists, to deal with claims whereby Doctors have simply got it wrong.

Do I have a case?

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, and you believe that at some point leading up to the diagnosis, or during treatment, after-care, or monitoring, your doctor has made a mistake, and this has caused you harm, you may have a strong case for compensation.  If you wish to pursue a claim, you will need to find a specialist Solicitor to assess your situation and provide you with advice.

What do you need to establish?

In order to prove negligence, a Solicitor will need to establish the following:

  • Breach of Duty – Was your Doctor at fault to the extent that they did not provide you with the expected and required level of care.
  • Causation – Did you suffer actual harm, injury, or loss as a direct result of this lack of care?

Time limits to bring a claim

Medical negligence claims are subject to time limits to bring a claim.  This is usually within three years of the injury or harm having occurred, or from the date, you acquired knowledge that negligence has occurred.  We will be able to advise you which of these will apply in your case.  Different rules on time limits also apply to children and protected parties, allowing them longer to bring a claim.

Medical negligence claims may feel overwhelming and complex to a client, but thankfully there are Solicitors that specialise in winning medical negligence claims, and understand how to bring a successful claim.  Been Let Down has many years’ experience and a vast body of specialist knowledge that means we are the best people to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Funding and making a claim

Our friendly and experienced Solicitors will discuss your claim with you free of charge.  Just contact us on our freephone number or via the simple initial contact claim form on our website.  You will be called back promptly by one of our highly experienced Solicitors to discuss your claim further.

Unlike many other legal firms, with us, you will be speaking to a Solicitor from day one, and all initial consultations will be free of charge and at no obligation to yourself.  We will listen carefully and sensitively to the details of your case, and if we advise that you have a case in negligence with a reasonable chance of success, then we will deal with your claim for you on a No Win, No Fee basis.

We also guarantee that you will keep the maximum amount of compensation; we offer discounts and highly success fees, unlike many other law firms, meaning you keep more of your compensation.

It is best not to delay in getting the advice you need, given the time limitations in place, and you have nothing to lose in contacting us as you are under no obligation to proceed. Get in contact today and find out if you can claim for compensation.

Contact us today

Get in touch now and find out how we can help with your case for cancer misdiagnosis compensation.

Please call us on 0800 234 3234 or contact us and a member of our legal team will call you back.

0800 234 3234 OR 0151 321 1000