Failure to diagnose cancer can have serious and life-altering results. For example, cancer left undetected could metastasize and worsen, causing any future treatment to be less effective.
If a medical professional misdiagnosed or failed to diagnose your cancer at all due to negligence, you could be eligible to make a medical negligence claim. Medical negligence means that the healthcare professional provided a substandard level of care.
Through this article, you can learn how cancer misdiagnosis can happen, what is classed as medical negligence, and the benefits of choosing a No Win No Fee solicitor to help you with your claim.
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Select A Section
- What Is The Failure To Diagnose Cancer?
- Causes of Failing To Diagnose Cancer
- Complications Caused By The Failure To Diagnose Cancer
- Can Negligence Lead To A Failure To Diagnose Cancer?
- What Could I Claim For The Failure To Diagnose Cancer?
- How To Contact Medical Negligence Assist
Failure to diagnose cancer can happen for a number of reasons, with potentially fatal consequences. Cancer that is diagnosed in the later stages can often be much harder to treat, due to spreading throughout the body.
Diagnosis at a later stage can sometimes be unavoidable: for example, symptoms may not begin to show until the cancer is already in the later stages, and some waiting times are unavoidable. However, to make a claim, you must be able to connect your missed diagnosis with negligence on the part of a medical professional.
Every medical professional owes their patients a duty of care, as outlined by the General Medical Council (GMC). This means that all actions they take in regards to you and your treatment must meet a minimum standard of care. If this standard is not met, and you suffer harm as a result, you could be eligible to make a medical negligence claim.
To find out if you have a valid claim, contact our advisors today.
There are many ways that failure to diagnose cancer could happen; however, it is important to remember that not all late diagnoses can form the basis of a successful claim.
Below, we have looked at the ways cancer could be misdiagnosed:
- Delayed diagnosis. This occurs when your illness is diagnosed, but it takes longer to reach this diagnosis. This could negatively affect your health as it might mean that you need stronger treatment like chemotherapy than you would have if you’d been diagnosed earlier.
- Missed diagnosis. This is where the diagnosis is missed completely. As a result, you may not get the treatment that you need.
- Misdiagnosis. This is where your condition is mistakenly diagnosed as another condition that you do not have. For example, ovarian cancer could be misdiagnosed as polycystic ovary syndrome. This might mean that you receive treatment that you do not need and that causes you harm, as well as delayed treatment for the condition that you actually have.
Learn more about who is eligible to make a medical negligence claim by contacting our advisors now.
The Impact Of COVID-19 On Cancer Diagnosis
We do not know the full impact that COVID-19 has had on cancer diagnosis yet. However, NHS Resolution provides yearly statistics surrounding claims made to the NHS.
For example, in the year 2020/21 the NHS received 12,629 claims and reported incidents. This shows an increase of 7.5% from the year before, with 7 of these claims falling against the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Coronavirus.
Failure to diagnose cancer can have fatal consequences. In the most severe cases, a misdiagnosis could allow cancer to spread to the point that treatment may prove ineffective. Other examples of how this could affect you include:
- Further surgeries: If your cancer misdiagnosis is delayed, tumour growth may increase. This could mean more invasive surgeries to resect the tumours that you may not have needed had you received treatment in a timely manner.
- Chemotherapy or radiotherapy: Some types of cancer can be treated without radiation therapy or chemotherapy. However, if the cancer is allowed to spread due to a failed diagnosis, radiation therapy may be unavoidable. This can result in hair loss, nausea, fatigue and other symptoms that might have been avoided otherwise.
- Metastasisation: Delays in the diagnosis of cancer can cause metastasisation. Different kinds of cancers grow and spread at different rates, so the time it takes to get a diagnosis could have a big impact on how much your cancer spreads and how responsive it is to treatment.
Our advisors are available and ready to offer you free legal advice regarding your medical negligence claim. Get in touch today to find out more.
When a medical professional fails to meet a minimum standard of care and you suffer harm as a result, they may be found liable for the impact this has on your condition. This means you could be eligible to make a hospital negligence claim if you suffer from failed or misdiagnosis of cancer.
See below for some examples of how negligence could potentially cause failure to diagnose cancer.
- Failure to act on test results: For example, if your mammogram shows a mass or lesion that goes ignored or unnoticed by your doctor, this could cause a delay or failure in breast cancer diagnosis.
- Ignoring patient symptoms: If you clearly explain your symptoms to a medical professional and they dismiss or ignore you unreasonably, this could result in a failed or delayed diagnosis.
- Failure to order diagnostic tests: Some instances of misdiagnosis are unavoidable: for example if your symptoms do not present as cancerous, then your doctor might not be able to make a diagnosis using the information that they have. However, some cases of misdiagnosis are due to negligence by a GP or doctor. An example of this could be if you presented with all the symptoms of bladder cancer, but your GP dismissed these symptoms as a UTI without ordering any tests.
Our advisors can tell you if you have a valid claim, and help you get in touch with our panel of No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitors. Contact us today to learn more.
If your claim is successful, you will receive general damages. This amount will cover the pain and suffering caused by your failed diagnosis. Solicitors can use a document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them estimate what your claim could be worth, as the JCG provides a list of injuries alongside guideline compensation brackets. You can find some examples of these brackets in the table below.
Injury Type Compensation Bracket Notes
Moderate Post Traumatic Stress Disorder £7,680 to £21,730 Any continuing symptoms are not significantly disabling, and a good recovery can be made.
Total Blindness In the region of £252,180 Complete loss of sight.
Lung Disease £94,470 to £127,530 In a young person where there is a probability of the disease progressing and leading to premature death.
Lung Disease £65,710 to £91,350
Lung cancer that causes severe pain and impairs function and quality of life
Removal of One Lung £94,470 to £140,870 Loss of one lung, with significant scarring and potential damage to the heart.
Loss of Male Reproductive Organs (i) In excess of £144,420 Infertility caused by total loss of male reproductive organs.
Female Infertility (a) £107,810 to £158,970 Infertility caused by injury or disease, with significant scarring, pain, anxiety and depression.
Loss of Kidney £158,970 to £197,480 Serious damage or loss of one or both kidneys.
Bowel Injuries (b) Up to £140,870 Total loss of all natural function and dependence on colostomy.
Bladder Injuries (c) £60,050 to £75,010 Serious impairment of natural control with pain and incontinence.
You might also be eligible for special damages. Special damages is the part of your claim that covers any financial losses you might incur due to your failed diagnosis. For example, travel costs to and from appointments, or child care that you did not need before. You must provide proof of these losses, so it can be helpful to retain any relevant receipts or invoices you receive.
Our advisors can provide you with a more detailed estimation of what your medical negligence compensation could be worth. Contact us today to find out more.
You do not need a solicitor to start a medical negligence claim for failure to diagnose cancer. However, the knowledge and guidance of a No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitor can make the process feel less stressful. They can also help explain jargon to you and explain the process of claiming to you.
When you enter into a No Win No Fee agreement, you do not have to pay any upfront or ongoing fees to your solicitor. If your claim succeeds, your solicitor will take a legally-capped percentage of your award as a success fee. However, if your claim fails, you will not have to pay any fees or costs to your solicitor.
Our team of expert advisors can provide you with free legal advice, and a valuation of what your claim could be worth. If your claim is valid, they can help you get in touch with our panel of experienced No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitors. To start your claim today, contact us by:
Cancer Misdiagnosis And Failure To Treat Resources
If you found this article on claiming for failure to diagnose cancer helpful, you might also be interested in:
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