Medical Negligence

Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer

A diagnosis of cancer is a devastating event in anyone’s life. The knowledge there were missed opportunities to diagnose it sooner can just add to that devastation, particularly if that has made a difference to the outcome or led to more invasive treatment options.

Sadly, we see tragic cases which result in a patient’s cancer going undiagnosed and untreated, resulting in a terminal illness and death.

For some cancers a delay in diagnosis of a couple of months may not normally make a difference, either to the choice of treatment or the outcome. In others, patients have undergone unnecessary medical procedures and other patients have developed mental health problems associated with the delay in their diagnosis and treatment.

The circumstances of cancer misdiagnosis that are most often seen are:

  • X-rays and scans that have not been correctly interpreted or misreported on by the radiologist or other doctor
  • Tissue samples (biopsies) and other tests (for example, smear tests or blood samples) that were wrongly interpreted by pathologists or cytologists
  • GPs who fail to order tests or to send a patient for referral to a hospital when there have been persistent suspicious symptoms or potential “red flags” for cancer
  • Inadequate investigations not carried out to assess if symptoms may have a more sinister cause
  • Inadequate follow up after routine tests
  • Inappropriate treatment when a different diagnosis ought to have been considered and investigated

There is a variety of cancers that may be missed and that may give rise to claims for medical negligence. Some are listed below but the list is not exhaustive:

  • Lung cancer
  • Bowel cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system)
  • Cervical cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Brain tumour
  • Melanoma (skin cancer)
  • Kidney cancer
  • Carcinoma and Adenocarcinoma

If you believe you may have suffered as a result of negligence then we have specialist medical negligence solicitors, who are accredited by The Law Society and AvMA, who can investigate your claim and help secure compensation.