Misdiagnosed Bladder Cancer Medical Negligence Claims Guide

A diagnosis of bladder cancer is never going to be easy to hear but it can be made even worse if you find out that delays in diagnosis have made your condition worse. This guide provides advice on when you could be entitled to make a bladder cancer medical negligence claim. It explains the causes and symptoms of bladder cancer, why a medical professional could be deemed negligent in failing to diagnose cancer, and how you could make a claim for bladder cancer negligence.

Bladder Cancer Medical Negligence

Bladder Cancer Medical Negligence

If you’re thinking about making a claim, why not call Medical Negligence Assist today? We have a team of specialists who can provide free legal advice right away. There’s no pressure to continue a claim but we’ll assess your case free of charge, and if we believe you could be entitled to compensation for a bladder cancer misdiagnosis, we could introduce you to a medical negligence lawyer who would represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.

To begin your claim today, call 0800 652 3087 today. Our advisers are ready to take your call.

Alternatively, to find out how you could claim compensation for bladder cancer medical negligence, and how we can connect you to our panel of medical negligence solicitors, please continue reading.

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A Guide On Bladder Cancer Medical Negligence Claims

Bladder cancer is a fairly common cancer in the UK that affects both men and women. Depending on which stage the cancer is caught, the better the chances of survival. We’ll provide more information, including misdiagnosis statistics regarding bladder cancer later in this guide.

We’ll cover when you could claim for NHS negligence because a hospital failed to diagnose cancer,  as well as claims for the wrong cancer treatment, and other reasons you might be eligible to claim compensation against a negligent third party.

In general terms, medical negligence occurs when a medical professional is negligent and as a consequence this causes you to suffer an injury, illness or makes an existing condition worse. We’ll be concentrating on the latter of these options because the longer bladder cancer is left untreated, the worse the symptoms could become and survival rate is impacted too.

If you are reading this guide because you have lost a loved one to bladder cancer, and you think their death could’ve been prevented had the cancer been spotted earlier, we could help you claim medical negligence compensation on their behalf.

If after you’ve read this guide, you have any queries, or require further information, you can speak to one of our advisers who are experienced in cancer misdiagnosis claims, and who can help by providing you with free legal advice on how to pursue a medial negligence claim.

An Overview Of Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer can develop as a result of a tumour forming in the lining of the  bladder. The bladder is part of your urinary tract system and its function is to filter waste from blood and to produce urine which is expelled from the body.

The bladder is made up of several layers with the first being the transitional epithelium which stretches when the bladder is full. This layer prevents urine from re-entering your body. The next thin layer is the lamina propria which is mainly connective tissue. Then there’s a muscular layer called the muscularis propria. The final layer is a fatty layer which keeps the bladder away from other body organs.

Bladder cancer develops in the first layer, the transitional epithelium, and spreads to the other layers as a tumour grows. A doctor diagnoses the level of bladder cancer by establishing how far the cancer has spread in the various layers.

Different Types Of Bladder Cancer

There are 3 main types of bladder cancer. These are:

  • Non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. This is the most common type of bladder cancer, which, according to the NHS, does not mean an affected person would die. It is where the cancer is in the lining of the bladder
  • Muscle-invasive bladder cancer. This type of bladder cancer is where the cancer develops and moves into the muscular layers of the bladder. This is less common, but it can lead to the cancer spreading beyond the bladder
  • Metastatic bladder cancer. Also known as advanced bladder cancer, this is where the cancer has spread to other parts of the body

Causes Of Bladder Cancer

The main cause of bladder cancer is exposure to harmful chemicals and substances over a prolonged period. This can range from tobacco exposure (which is estimated to cause 1 in 3 bladder cancer cases) and historical exposure to manufacturing chemicals which have since been banned. Some chemicals known to increase the risk of developing bladder cancer include benzidine, o-toluidine, xenylamine and aniline dyes.

Some workers in certain industries have a higher risk of bladder cancer including manufacturers of paint, leather products, textiles and rubber. Also painters, printers, hairdresser and machinists could have a higher level of risk due to the chemicals they handle during the course of their work.

Bladder Cancer Symptoms

There are a number of different symptoms which can indicate bladder cancer is present. These include:

  • Haematuria (blood in the urine). This is usually painless. It might turn urine brown and might not be present all of the time
  • More frequent need to urinate
  • A burning sensation during urination
  • A sudden need to urinate

For more advanced stages of bladder cancer, the symptoms can also include:

  • Bone or pelvic pain
  • Legs swelling
  • Unexpected weight loss

The NHS recommends seeing your doctor if ever you see blood in your urine. It’s obviously worrying when this occurs, but it doesn’t automatically mean you’ve got bladder cancer as it can also be a symptom of kidney stones, cystitis or urethritis. That’s why a visit to the doctor is essential so that they can refer you for specific testing if they believe this to be necessary.

Diagnosing And Treating Bladder Cancer

If you visit a doctor because you’ve spotted blood in your urine or another symptom listed above, they may send you to the hospital to see a cancer specialist so that further tests can be carried out. You’ll either visit a urology department or a specialist clinic.

In the first instance, if the cancer specialist thinks you might have bladder cancer, they’ll arrange a cystoscopy. It’s a 5-minute procedure which involves passing a small thin tube through your urethra (after a local anaesthetic gel is applied). The tube has a camera attached to it which allows a doctor to look for signs of a growth in an affected area.

Should more extensive imaging tests be necessary, you could be sent for an MRI scan or a CT scan. Another option is to inject a dye into your bloodstream and then x-rays are taken to determine how the dye passes through the urinary tract.

When one of the methods listed above picks up an abnormality, you might need to undergo a surgical procedure known as TURBT to remove the abnormality. This would be checked for cancer and, if found, the doctor treating you would recommend you undergo chemotherapy as a treatment for bladder cancer.

Following your tests, the cancer will be graded. As mentioned earlier, the less the cancer has spread from the bladder lining, the lower the grade would be, and the better the chances of a treatment being successful.

Late Diagnosis Or Misdiagnosis Of Bladder Cancer

As with most types of cancer, the sooner bladder cancer is diagosed, the better the prognosis. This means that in many cases, treatment can be less intrusive and therefore, far less painful.

Therefore, any delay in diagnosis, or an incorrect diagnosis could lead to the patient suffering and their condition being that much harder to treat successfully.

  • Delayed Diagnosis
    A delayed, or late diagnosis of bladder cancer increases the chances of the cancer spreading beyond the bladder lining. If it advances beyond the lining into the muscle or beyond, it could significantly reduce the chances of survival. It could also mean that the patient needs to undergo more painful treatment and surgery
  • Misdiagnosis of bladder cancer
    A misdiagnosis of cancer will usually mean that treatment is delayed in the same way as a late diagnosis. If a GP or cancer specialist, thinks the patient has another condition altogether, the cancer won’t be treated and it could spread to other layers of the bladder. This could mean that the patient suffers more pain as their cancer symptoms worsen

If the NHS fails to diagnose cancer, or they did diagnose the cancer but not at the first opportunity, you may be able to sue them for negligence if their error caused you to suffer further. Should a loved one have passed away due to a misdiagnosis which prevented them receiving the correct treatment, you could sue the hospital or GP on their behalf.

When claiming for either a late or misdiagnosis of bladder cancer, your solicitor will aim to show how the delay in treatment caused the stage of your cancer to increase before a treatment began. They’ll look at how you suffered because of the delay, what effect the delay could cause you in the future and, in the most extreme cases, if the delay in treatment led to your cancer being inoperable.

Because your solicitor is not a medical specialist, they would arrange for an independent doctor/specialist to examine yo before completing a medical assessment of your condition. The report they provide would be used in conjunction with other evidence as a basis for your medical negligence compensation claim.

Statistics For Surviving Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is treatable, and patients diagnosed with the condition can lead healthy lives following treatment. Here are some statistics regarding survival rates for bladder cancer:

  • In 2010-11, 50% of patients in England and Wales survived for 10 years or more
  • Over 70% of men aged less than 50 survived bladder cancer for over 5 years between 2009 and 2013. In the same period over 45% of women survived for over 5 years. As age increases, the percentage decreased but not massively. For men between 50 and 59 years old, the 5-year survival rate dropped to just under 70%
  • Based on the stage bladder cancer was diagnosed at in 2014, the 1-year survival rate for men was: Stage 1: 90%, Stage 2: 65%, Stage 3: 63%, Stage 4: 35%. For women the figures were: Stage 1:85%, Stage 2:61%, Stage 3: 57% and Stage 4: 24%

These figures came from statistics provided by the charity Cancer Research UK.

Could I Claim Compensation For Bladder Cancer Negligence If I Smoked?

When you’re diagnosed with bladder cancer, you’ll typically be asked if you smoked in the past or currently. If you believe that, even though you were a smoker, it is more likely that exposure to workplace chemicals could be to blame, you could still be able to claim compensation.

You would need the help of a specialist medical negligence solicitor because this type of claim can be complex and specialist medical reports are required to strengthen a case against a negligent third party. The important message  is that just because you were a smoker doesn’t automatically eliminate you from being eligible to seek compensation for bladder cancer.

Time Limits To Make Negligent Bladder Cancer Treatment Claims

As with any type of claim, there is a personal injury claims time limit which affects bladder cancer medical negligence claims. The table below outlines the current time limits.

Type of claimTimelimit to make claim
Adult bladder cancer claim3 years
Child bladder cancer claimAn adult can claim until the child is 18 at which point they have 3 years to claim themselves

It’s really important to note here that the 3-year time period doesn’t have to be the date the bladder cancer misdiagnosis took place. It is more likely that the time will begin from the date you found out about the misdiagnosis. This could be a long time after the misdiagnosis took place which would give you more time to start your claim. To avoid any doubt, please contact one of our advisers to check you’re still within the time limits for claiming medical negligence compensation.

I Was Harmed By Negligent Bladder Cancer Treatment, What Compensation Could I Claim?

When you make a claim for bladder cancer medical negligence, your personal injury lawyer can include different elements known legally as ‘heads of loss’.

Here are some heads of loss that could be included in your claim:

  • General Damages
    This part of the claim is common in most bladder cancer misdiagnosis claims. It is paid for the physical and mental pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by your injuries
  • Medication Expenses
    Depending on which NHS trust you’re being treated by; you might incur prescription medication costs. You might also need to pay for over the counter medicines. If that’s the case, you might be able to ask for this expense back – awarded as special damages
  • Care Costs
    While you’re recovering from treatment or while you’re undergoing chemotherapy, if you require professional care that you have to pay for, you may be able to claim the cost back – awarded as special damages
  • Travelling Costs
    The cost of parking and fuel could be included in the claim if it can be proven that it was caused by the failure to diagnose cancer properly – awarded as special damages
  • Earnings Loss
    You may need to take a lot of time off work depending on the severity of your bladder cancer. If that means you lose out on your salary, you might be able to claim these losses back – awarded as special damages
  • Future Loss of Earnings
    When your cancer means you’re unable to work again or have to limit the number of hours you work; you could seek future lost income as part of your claim – awarded as special damages

To provide evidence to support your claim, we recommend that you keep a log or diary that shows any expenses that were linked to your bladder cancer negligence claim. Be prepared to explain to your medical negligence lawyer why you had to spend money. If there are any major expenses, always check with the solicitor before committing to them. They’ll be able to advise you whether you’re likely to be able to claim the money back or not.

No Win No Fee Bladder Cancer Medical Negligence Claims

We know that some people don’t make a claim following negligent bladder cancer treatment because they’re worried about the legal costs involved. That’s why our panel of personal injury solicitors operate on a No Win No Fee basis.

No Win No Fee Agreements are legally known as conditional fee agreements (or CFAs). They’re based around the principle that you don’t pay the solicitor anything unless they win your claim and you’re awarded compensation which is known as a ‘success fee’.

In the past, if your solicitor won the case, their fees were covered by the defendant. The law changed though which means that’s no longer possible. However, with CFAs, if the solicitor wins your case, they’re paid by way of a success fee which is a percentage of the compensation you are awarded. This structure reduces stress levels and financial risk because you won’t ever need to find the money to pay the solicitor yourself.

If you would like to discuss whether you’re eligible to make a No Win No Fee medical negligence compensation claim, give us a call today.

How To Claim Compensation For Negligent Bladder Cancer Treatment

If you’ve read this guide about bladder cancer medical negligence and believe you could have a valid claim, then the best thing to do is talk to one of our specialist advisers.

We offer free legal advice regarding your claim. There’s no pressure from us and you’re under no obligation to proceed. If you’d like to speak with us, you can in the following ways:

Following your initial assessment, we would connect you with one of our panel of medical negligence solicitors. They understand the laws surrounding medical negligence and cancer malpractice and could help you claim the compensation you’re entitled to. With up to 30 years’ experience in making claims, they could mean the difference between winning or losing your case.

To improve the chances of successfully claiming compensation, you could ask your GP for medical records relating to appointments you’ve made with them. The same is true for visits to cancer specialists at a hospital. If you have received any letters in the post from the hospital that gave you the all clear or suggested you had a different condition, then these letters could be used as supporting evidence as well.

Bladder Cancer Medical Resources And Additional Claims Guides

We hope you’ve found this guide about bladder cancer medical negligence useful. If you require any more information, please do get in touch. For now, though, we’ve provided some more helpful links and guides below.

Bladder Cancer Information – This guide from the NHS explains the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer.

Cancer Research UK – In this guide, Cancer Research UK provide a more detailed guide to bladder cancer. It includes information on living with bladder cancer, treatment and research and clinical trials.

Earlier Diagnosis of Cancer – This NHS article explains how they plan to keep improving cancer survival rates by diagnosing cancer as early as possible.

Hospital Negligence – A guide which shows you when you could be eligible to make a medical negligence claim against a hospital.

Personal Injury Claims Calculator – This useful page shows how much compensation can be paid for some physical injuries.

Other Misdiagnosis Claims

Article by BH

Editor Honey