If you have suffered harm due to misdiagnosed bowel cancer resulting from a breach of duty of care, you may be eligible to make a medical negligence claim. In this guide, we’ll explain how misdiagnosis of bowel cancer can happen, what counts as medical negligence, and how a No Win No Fee lawyer can help you start your case today.
Misdiagnosis of cancer can have serious consequences on both your physical and mental health. In some cases, it might mean that your condition progresses to a point where it cannot be treated. To find out if you have a valid medical compensation claim for harm caused by negligence, get in touch with our advisors today by:
Select A Section
- Misdiagnosed Bowel Cancer Claims
- Types Of Medical Errors Leading To Misdiagnosed Bowel Cancer
- What Could Bowel Cancer Be Misdiagnosed As?
- How Common Is Cancer Misdiagnosis?
- Misdiagnosed Bowel Cancer Compensation Settlements
- Get Advice On Making A Medical Negligence Claim
Bowel cancer is an umbrella term for cancers that begin in the large bowel. In order to make a medical negligence claim following a misdiagnosis of bowel cancer, you must be able to prove that:
- A medical professional had a duty of care towards you
- They were in breach of this duty of care
- You suffered unnecessary harm as a result of this breach
It’s important to note that just because medical treatment has caused you harm does not mean you’re automatically eligible to claim. In cancer treatment particularly, the chemotherapy or radiotherapy that is used to treat your condition will usually make you ill; however, because this is necessary in treating your condition it would not form the basis of a medical negligence claim because no negligence occurred.
All medical professionals are expected to provide their patients with a minimum standard of care, as outlined in the General Medical Council’s duties of a doctor. When a medical professional is in breach of this duty of care, and you suffer harm as a result, you may then be eligible to make a medical negligence claim.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bowel Cancer?
The main symptoms of bowel cancer as listed in the NHS bowel cancer guide are:
- Persistent blood in the stool
- A change in bowel habits
- Persistent pain, bloating, or discomfort in the stomach after eating
To find out if you could be eligible to claim compensation, contact our advisors today.
Not all cases of misdiagnosed cancer can form the basis of a successful claim. Some cases of misdiagnosis are unavoidable; for example, if tests do not show the presence of cancerous cells, or if your symptoms do not present as cancer usually would, then your doctor may not be able to make a diagnosis even if they administered the proper level of care.
To make a claim, you must be able to prove that your condition got worse (or you sustained a new condition or injury) as a result of negligence. Some examples of how medical negligence can lead to misdiagnosis include:
- Misreading test results: For example, if a CT scan is misread and growths or other signs of cancer are not identified, this could lead to misdiagnosis.
- Loss of patient notes: Administrative errors can also contribute to the misdiagnosis and delayed treatment of bowel cancer. For example, loss of patient notes or important records could mean that the right tests are not ordered or performed.
- Failure to refer: If your doctor or GP fails to refer you to a specialist even though you’re showing clear symptoms of bowel cancer, this could lead to a failure to diagnose which could harm your health.
Rates Of Bowel Cancer In The UK
According to Cancer Research UK, around 42,886 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year. Bowel cancer is the 4th most commonly reported cancer, making up 11% of all newly reported cancer cases.
Our advisors are on hand 24/7 to offer you free legal advice and help to start your claim if a negligent medical professional has misdiagnosed your bowel cancer. Call today for more information.
Bowel cancer shares symptoms with many other intestinal and digestive issues, and as such is at risk of misdiagnosis. Examples of these disorders include:
Bowel cancer could be misdiagnosed as any of these disorders due to the similarity in symptoms in some cases this may be unavoidable, but could also be caused by a doctor’s negligence. For example, if they diagnose you with IBS but ignore the rest of your symptoms that may signal cancer, they could be considered negligent.
To learn more about making a claim for misdiagnosed bowel cancer, contact our team of expert advisors today.
Misdiagnosed bowel cancer sometimes happens even when medical professionals administer the right level of care. For example, if your symptoms do not present as cancer, or if your test results do not indicate that cancer is present, then it may not be expected for your doctor to diagnose you or send you for additional tests as part of their duty of care. In order to make a misdiagnosed bowel cancer claim, you must provide proof of medical negligence.
If you choose to hire a solicitor to help you with the claims process, they can advise you on what you could use as evidence in your case. Some examples of this could include:
- Medical records: Records that indicate your symptoms, test results, and treatments you received can be helpful. For example, if your doctor fails to spot a cancerous mass in a CT scan, this could help strengthen your claim.
- Symptoms diary: Keeping a diary of any symptoms that worsen due to suspected negligence can be helpful to your claim. For example, if your stomach pains get worse, this could be in the diary.
- Witness statements: Taking the contact details of anyone who might have witnessed the suspected negligence or the worsening of your condition ensures their statements can be taken later. For example, a family member or spouse who witnessed your symptoms being ignored.
Another method used to prove medical negligence is by putting it through the Bolam test. This is where a group of professionals in the relevant field will assess the actions of the medical professionals involved. They will then determine if their actions were reasonable, or a result of negligence.
To find out how a No Win No Fee solicitor from our expert panel can help you start your claim, contact our advisors now.
If your case succeeds, you will receive general damages to cover the pain and suffering caused by your misdiagnosis. These are awarded on a case-by-case basis, often with the help of a document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG provides a list of injuries with guideline compensation brackets and often is used by solicitors to help estimate the value of a potential claim. You can find some examples of JCG brackets in the table below:
Inury Type Compensation Bracket Notes
Moderately Severe Psychiatric Damage £17,900 to £51,460 Significant effect on the ability to work, education and life, but with an optimistic prognosis.
Moderate PTSD £7,680 to £21,730 Cases of large recovery with continuing effects that are not grossly disabling.
Bowel Injuries (a) Up to £172,860 Double incontinence along with other medical complications.
Bowel Injuries (b) Up to £140,870 Total loss of natural function and depdendence on colostomy, with consideration given to age.
Bowel Injuries (c) In the region of £75,000 Faecal urgence and passive incontinence after surgery causing embarrassment and distress.
Bladder Injuries (b) Up to £132,040 Complete loss of control and function.
Bladder Injuries (c) £60,050 to £75,010 Imapirment of control with pain and incontinence.
Bladder Injuries (d) £21,970 to £29,380 Almost complete recovery but with some long-term interference with natural function.
Kidney Injuries (a) £158,970 to £197,480 Permanent damage or loss to one or both kidneys.
Kidney Injuries (c) £28,880 to £42,110 Loss of one kidney with no damage to the other.
You may also be eligible to claim special damages. Special damages can cover any financial losses you may incur due to your injuries or illness. This can include travel costs to and from appointments, or special equipment that you need like a stairlift. However, you must be able to provide proof of these losses, so it can be helpful to retain any relevant receipts or invoices.
The JCG can only provide broad guideline compensation brackets. For a free and in-depth estimation of what your claim could be worth, get in touch with our advisors today.
Our advisors are available 24/7 to provide you with free legal advice, and a free estimation of what your claim could be worth. When you call our team, you are under no obligation to utilise our service; our advisors are simply here to help.
A No Win No Fee agreement is a great way to fund legal representation with minimised financial risk. When you enter into a No Win No Fee agreement, you do not need to pay any upfront or ongoing fees to your solicitor. If your case succeeds, your solicitor will take a legally-capped percentage of your award as their success fee. However, if your claim fails, you will not have to pay any fees to your solicitor.
A No Win No Fee solicitor can help guide you through the daunting legal jargon associated with making a medical negligence claim. To learn more about how our panel of experienced No Win No Fee solicitors can help you start your misdiagnosed bowel cancer claim, get in touch with our advisors today by:
Cancer Compensation Resources
To learn more about cancer compensation, try our articles on:
- Breast Cancer Negligence Claims
- Misdiagnosed Bladder Cancer Claims
- How Do I Make A Successful Claim Against The NHS?
Or, for more helpful resources:
- Macmillan cancer support
- CQC – Make a complaint against a service provider
- NICE – The National Institute for Health Care and Excellence
If you have more questions about claiming for misdiagnosed bowel cancer, get in touch today.
Guide by Cat
Edited by Fern