Cancer is known to be a leading cause of death globally and will certainly be a challenging time for the sufferer and family. Things can become even more precarious when it is not diagnosed early enough as a result of negligence by the medical professionals in charge. Therefore, for a patient to recover fully, the condition has to be diagnosed and treated in its early stage.
Cancer negligence claims are made by the patient when negligence by medical professionals in the management of their cancer condition leads to further harm, trauma and suffering for the patient. Cancer negligence claims can thus arise as a result of cancer wrong diagnosis, delay in making the right diagnosis or delay in commencing treatment.
It is therefore very important that medical professionals diagnose the cancer condition early enough so that the number of avoidable deaths due to cancer negligence will be reduced to the bare minimum.
UK statistics on cancer misdiagnosis has shown that cancer is the second most common cause of death as approximately 164,000 people died of cancer between 2016 and 2018.
Furthermore, about 22% of the 356,000 people diagnosed with cancer in 2018 only became aware of their condition when they visited the Accident and Emergency department. Cancer currently causes more than one in four deaths in the UK and every four minutes, someone dies of cancer in the UK.
The issue of cancer misdiagnosis claims and cancer negligence claims have become a thing of great importance given that researches have shown that at least one in five cancer patients in the UK received the correct diagnosis of their condition only after more than six months. With about 95,000 cancer surgeries carried out every year, medical experts believe that there could be about 5,000 more deaths for a three-month cancer diagnosis delay and about 11,000 more deaths for a six-month delay.
Recently, there are more cases of cancer misdiagnosis than before, especially as cancer is becoming prevalent in the UK. While working clients, our team of medical negligence experts have discovered that most times when a patient visits their GP, they fail to recognise that the symptoms presented may be a sign of cancer but easily dismiss them as nothing sinister; this ultimately leads to a delay in the patient being referred to a specialist for proper examination, meaning that there is an unfortunate and disastrous delay in making a correct diagnosis and proper treatment.
According to the NHS, when you experience changes that are unusual to your body's normal processes, as well as unexplained symptoms, these can sometimes be early signs of cancer and need to be checked by a doctor before making conclusions; such changes could include lumps that suddenly appear on your body, unexplained bleeding, or changes to your bowel habits. The NHS however also adds that, in many cases, some of these symptoms will not be related to cancer and will be caused by other, non-cancerous health conditions.
This explains why cases of cancer misdiagnosis continue to rise regrettably as there are many other illnesses and diseases that mimic the signs of cancer but are actually not leaving medical practitioners who don’t carry out the appropriate confirmatory tests for cancer, puzzled, until sometimes, it is all too late.
An increase in the number of cancer misdiagnoses means an increase in the mortality rate in cancer patients, which invariably means an increase in cancer negligence claims even as the NHS will have to make more payments in settlements for negligence.
Therefore, if you or your loved one has suffered trauma or a worsened cancer condition as a result of cancer misdiagnosis, our cancer misdiagnosis solicitors can assist you with cancer negligence claims. We will ensure that you receive the right legal counsel you need to pursue your cancer negligence claims as well as explain to you in clear and simple terms what the cancer negligence claims process involves and support you in whatever way you require during the difficult period to get a deserved compensation.
Cancer misdiagnosis describes a situation where a medical professional fails to accurately spot and diagnose a cancer condition.
It also refers to situations where patients are falsely diagnosed with cancer when they are actually free thereby subjecting such an individual to emotional and psychological trauma. Cancer misdiagnosis also refers to when a patient is wrongly made to believe that they are free from the cancer disease without the proper tests meaning that all forms of treatment are stopped only for the condition to unfortunately resurface more aggressively.
Medical professionals can be negligent and fail to refer their patients to a specialist for further medical examination or recommend further tests even when initial tests suggest the existence of cancer. Cancer misdiagnosis generally has devastating effects on the sufferer.
In situations such as these, the individual is legally entitled to make cancer negligence claims.
Cancer Negligence Claims We Undertake Include:
- Bowel Cancer Negligence Claims
- Breast Cancer Negligence Claims
- Brain cancer Negligence Claims
- Throat Cancer Negligence Claims
- Cervical Cancer Negligence Claims
- Pancreatic Cancer Negligence Claims
- Prostate Cancer Negligence Claims
- Renal Cancer Negligence Claims
- Liver Cancer Negligence Claims
- Bladder Cancer Negligence Claims
- Lung Cancer Negligence Claims
- Lymphoma Negligence Claims
- Bone Cancer Negligence Claims
- Skin Cancer Negligence Claims
- Ovarian Cancer Negligence Claims
- Testicular Cancer Negligence Claims
WHY DOES CANCER MISDIAGNOSIS OCCUR?
There are several reasons why cancer misdiagnosis takes place. For instance, the NHS has issues of inadequate budget and understaffing which has led to the closure of some medical centres impacting the level of healthcare delivery provided. The Covid-19 pandemic has not helped issues as it has received priority even over other serious medical conditions. Patient waiting time for appointments and tests have thus increased to devastating effects
In despite of these, the major reasons for misdiagnosis of cancer are
Human mistakes lead to cancer misdiagnosis and can occur in the following ways.
- A medical professional incorrectly reads or misinterprets a test or scan result thus informing the patient that he or she is free from cancer. This will surely lead to a delay in the required treatment and will adversely affect the individual.
- Human errors could also occur when a medical professional fails to refer the patient for further confirmatory tests or takes too long to do so even after a particular test result suspects a risk of cancer.
- Human mistakes can also arise when healthcare professionals are time-pressured. Although targets are there to improve the quality of healthcare delivery, medical practitioners may not be dutiful in giving adequate attention as required to their patients which will lead to mistakes and misdiagnosis.
Cases of Similar Symptoms
Doctors have been known to dismiss some reported signs and symptoms as nothing serious because other less serious medical conditions can have those same signs and symptoms. This has however meant that most cancer conditions were not diagnosed early enough.
As an example, breast cancer suffered by one in eight women in the world according to statistics may be misdiagnosed as a benign cyst. Furthermore, lung cancer may present symptoms that are similar to other forms of respiratory conditions. Patients may then be incorrectly diagnosed with asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, tuberculosis or pleurisy.
Also, pancreatic cancer may be misdiagnosed as pancreatitis or irritable bowel syndrome. This further buttresses the point that medical professionals ought to be vigilant and perform all necessary tests before making a diagnosis.
Medical reports have also indicated that cancer misdiagnosis can have serious negative impacts on the mental health of the patient involved. Women given an “all-clear” when they actually have cancer (false-positives) have reported greater negative psychosocial consequences when compared with women who were diagnosed with cancer correctly.
This impact on a patient’s psychological wellbeing in addition to the physical effects of the cancer condition on a patient’s body, makes the subject of cancer negligence claims an issue of great importance.
REASONS FOR CANCER NEGLIGENCE CLAIMS
- Cancer Misdiagnosis- this is where a patient is wrongly diagnosed with cancer or diagnosed with a less serious condition meaning that the patient is subjected to wrong or unnecessary treatment. Cancer misdiagnosis also refers to a condition where the medical professional completely misses the cancer condition (missed diagnosis).
- Delay in Making the Correct Diagnosis- This means that the cancer condition is finally discovered at a later stage than when it should have been discovered perhaps as a result of your GP’s error in interpreting scan results or failing to refer you to a specialist for proper examination. Delays will lead to more aggressive treatment than would have been necessary if the problem had been diagnosed much earlier. Delay in making the correct diagnosis can be catastrophic as it greatly affects the quality of life and life expectancy of the individual.
- Poor Analysis of Treatment Progress- an example of this is when the medical professional makes the mistake of telling the patient that he is free from cancer meaning that further treatment is not needed when cancerous cells are still present. The cancer would no doubt begin to spread again and this may only be discovered at a terminal stage.
Commonly Misdiagnosed Cancers include:
- Breast Cancer
- Bone Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Testicular Cancer
In the UK, in 2017, lung, bowel, breast and prostate cancer accounted for almost 50% of all cancer deaths.
How Can Cancers Be Misdiagnosed?
There are more than 100 known different types of cancer, and each one has a specific way it is diagnosed and treated. Cancer can be misdiagnosed in the following ways:
- Cervical cancer – failure of your GP to recommend Pap smear tests or HPV tests. Misdiagnosis here also means that there will be unnecessary delays before a thorough examination with a magnifying colposcope was conducted to confirm abnormal cell sizes.
- Ovarian cancer – when there are delays or failure to carry out CA125 blood test, abdominal or transvaginal ultrasound, X-ray, CT scan, needle biopsy or laparoscopy.
- Breast cancer – delays or failure of your medical professional to refer you for a mammogram or breast ultrasound, biopsy or needle aspiration.
- Prostate cancer – delays or failure of your GP to recommend you for necessary scans such as MRI scan, transperineal biopsy, transrectal biopsy, CT scan or PET scan for confirmation even when your initial tests showed abnormal prostate-specific antigen levels.
- Lung cancer – where your GP fails or delays to recommend chest X-ray, CT scan, PET-CT scan, bronchoscopy and biopsy or endobronchial ultrasound.
Apart from failing or delaying to recommend the relevant tests, wrong interpretation of these tests can lead to cancer misdiagnosis.
Why Choose Us
At NHS negligence claims, we pride ourselves as having the required expertise in this area having represented several clients with cancer negligence claims and secured hugely satisfying amounts in settlements for them. We also boast a strong record of settling cancer negligence claims cases quickly to the satisfaction of our clients.
Our team of specialist cancer misdiagnosis solicitors are among the best in the UK. They are dedicated to see that clients get the best form of legal representation and claim compensation their condition deserves.
When you come to us, we will assign you a personal lawyer who will speak with you, carefully listen to your story and work with our expert team of cancer misdiagnosis lawyers to determine if you have a strong cancer negligence claim.
We have made our consultation sessions free of charge and if we are convinced after careful consideration that you have a strong claim, we will proceed to give you appropriate legal counsel as we proceed to make your claims.
Furthermore, we also help our clients make adequate medical arrangements for further treatment and medical care as they require. We undertake the majority of our cancer negligence claims on a No Win No Fee basis meaning that you can make claims without any financial risks to you. Reach out to us or fill our online assessment form and we will get back to you in the shortest possible time.
How Do I Make Cancer Negligence claims?
Cancer Negligence claims need to be handled expertly by competent cancer misdiagnosis solicitors. It must be proven that the negligence of your GP or medical professional in handling your cancer condition has severely affected you causing you undue pain, suffering while also impacting your quality of life and life expectancy negatively. Our cancer misdiagnosis lawyers will do their best to help you establish liability from your medical professional.
The four areas of negligence that must be proven in a case of cancer misdiagnosis are;
- Duty (your medical professional owed you a duty of care)
- Deviation (the medical professional breached that duty of care)
- Direct causation (the breach of duty directly caused you unnecessary pain and suffering)
- Damages (your quality of life has been severely affected negatively both physically, emotionally, mentally, financially and otherwise)
In order to do this, it is important for you to provide several relevant information and documents which will serve as evidence. Our Cancer Negligence Solicitors will assist you in the gathering of documents and evidence you need to make your cancer negligence claims. We will secure the services of an Independent Medical expert who will examine you and give a report of the severity of your condition and damage done which also be taken into account while negotiating settlement fees with the defendant. These documents include;
- Detailed statements including appointment dates, who attended to you, the diagnosis made, the period taken before your condition was finally diagnosed correctly and any other information relevant to the case.
- Medical reports including scans and test results
- Witness statements from family or friends
- Evidence of financial losses incurred as a result of the negligence (including past, current and future estimated financial losses)
- Medical Report from the independent medical expert
The Cancer Negligence Claims Procedure
The processes involved in making a cancer misdiagnosis compensation claims are outlined below;
- Contact your Lawyer
- Fund Your Claim
- Gather your Evidence
- Submit your letter of claim
- Payment of Settlement Fee
Contact Your Lawyer
Our Cancer Negligence Solicitors are specialists in dealing with a wide range of cancer misdiagnosis claims. Therefore, We encourage you to speak with us as soon as possible if your condition was negligently handled. Our consultation sessions are free of charge where we will carefully listen to your story and if we are convinced that there is a strong case of cancer negligence, we will advise you on how to proceed with your claims.
Fund Your Claim
After a thorough evaluation of the details of your claim, the next stage is to fund your claim. This is important to help us facilitate the legal process, access relevant documents which will for our evidence as well as take care of other legal fees. The various funding types available include;
- Legal Aid
- Legal Expenses Or Before The Event Insurance (BTE)
- Conditional Fee Agreements (No Win No Fee Agreements)
- Trade Union Funding
- Private Funding
Gathering Your Evidence
The next step will be to gather documents and facts to substantiate your claim. These documents include your detailed statements, witness statements, financial losses incurred, tests, scans and photographs. Our solicitors can help you gather as much evidence you need to corroborate your cancer negligence claims.
Submit Your Letter of Claim
After careful investigations, we will write a letter of claim on your behalf to the defendant (NHS or GP) who will make their own investigations and give us a response. Our aim of doing this is to get the defendant to accept liability.
We will commence negotiations with the other party in earnest. We will also register your claims before a court; this does not mean that you will go to court or stand trial before a judge, but it is important to do this to help both parties meet agreed deadlines.
As soon as the defendant accepts liability, we can secure interim payments on your behalf so that you will not be financially distressed in any way. This interim payment also enables you to access the required medical care.
If the defendant denies any wrongdoing and both parties are unable to reach an agreement, the matter will be taken to be handled by a judge.
We are however pleased to say that we have a strong record of settling cases quickly without having to go to court. In fact, over 90% of all cases we have handled have been settled out of court.
Payment of Settlement Fee
On acceptance of liability, both parties will reach an agreement for compensation. This is determined by the type and severity of harm done, future prognosis, incurred financial losses as well as other damages caused as a result of the misdiagnosis.
We boast a strong record of being able to settle medical negligence claims in the shortest possible time and with the best settlement payouts for our clients. Do not hesitate to reach out to us.
No Win No Fee Cancer Negligence Solicitors In The UK
At NHS negligence claims, we undertake the majority of our medical claims cases under a No Win No Fee policy- cancer negligence claims are no exception to this. This means that you are protected from any financial risks while making your claims.
You are protected from paying any legal fees before or during the entire claims process. You will not also be expected to pay us a penny even if the case wasn’t unsuccessful.
Furthermore, when your case is successful, you will be required to pay a success fee of 25% which will be withdrawn from your total compensation amount.
How Much Compensation Can I Sue For Cancer Negligence?
There are many cancer negligence claims and each cancer negligence claim has its own peculiar story and level of damage caused to the patient. This also means that the compensation values will differ. The average payout for NHS cancer negligence is about £350,000. Our specialist cancer misdiagnosis claims lawyers will give you a range of what you can expect as settlement for your claims using the cancer misdiagnosis claims calculator.
The value of medical negligence cancer payout you can receive depends on various factors which are broadly divided into general damages and special damages.
- General Damages- This refers to compensation that takes into account the extent or severity of the damage caused by the negligence and the impact of such damage. It also includes the level of pain, suffering and trauma the patient has had to endure as a result of the negligence.
- Special Damages- this covers other financial losses incurred as a result of the injury. Special damages also take into account the costs of medical appointments, treatment, loss of earnings, future prognosis, costs of purchasing assistive devices or aids necessary for rehabilitation.
In general, the determinants for a compensation award are:-
- type and location of injury
- severity of the injury
- damages caused by the injury
- financial losses as a result of the injury
- estimated time for recovery if possible
- fees and travel expenses for medical appointments
- cost of rehabilitation including buying mobility aids and assistive devices
- cost of hiring caregivers where the effect of the damage means that the individual is unable to carry out basic functions unaided.
- Accommodation costs especially if the individual must modify or entirely move out to another place to suit thire present condition.
Compensation values can fall anywhere between £1,000 to several millions of pounds depending on the above factors mentioned. However, the average medical negligence compensation fee is £50,000.
Q: What is the Time Frame For Settling A Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim?
Usually, cancer negligence claims take between 1 to 3years to be concluded. Some cases may take longer while others can take a shorter time to settle. We are very pleased to say that we have an enviable record of settling claims we undertake with best possible compensation amounts within a short period of time.
Q: How Long Do I Have To Make A Cancer Negligence Claim?
According to the Limitation Act of 1980, you are given three years from the date of knowledge to make your claims. The exceptions to this rule are where the person is incapacitated and unable to make claims on their own or it is a case involving a child who will have until his or 21st birthday to make a claim. We however encourage you to reach out to us even if your cancer negligence case is more than three years old so that we may determine if you can be exempted from the rule and proceed to help you make a claim.
Q: What Is The Percentage Of Cancer Misdiagnosis In The UK?
While there are about 10 and 20% of cancer cases misdiagnosed worldwide according to medical research, in the UK the number is relatively higher. For instance, approximately 28% of misdiagnosis made in about 580 cancer cases have resulted in permanent consequences. Cancer misdiagnosis leads to the death of at least 40,000 persons in the UK every year.
Q: What Proof Do I Need To Make A Cancer Negligence Claim?
To make a claim for cancer negligence, you have to prove that your GP or healthcare provider was negligent in diagnosing your medical condition and that such negligence and misdiagnosis caused you avoidable harm and suffering.
Our Team of expert Cancer Negligence Solicitors are always ready to help you make a claim and ensure the process is smooth and stress-free.
Q: Can I Sue A Hospital For Misdiagnosis of Cancer?
Absolutely! If you believe your cancer case or that of a loved one was not managed properly by the hospital, you can approach us to sue the hospital for cancer negligence claims. You may also wish to sue the doctor directly who made the error for misdiagnosis.
Q: What Is The Most Misdiagnosed Cancer?
Commonly misdiagnosed cancers according to NHS data is Lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system which is the body’s main defense against disease). Other commonly misdiagnosed cancers are breast, lung cancer, colon and ovarian cancers.
Q: How Do I Pay For A Cancer Misdiagnosis Negligence Claim?
We undertake most of our cancer misdiagnosis cases under a No Win No Fee Basis which allows you access to seek redress without any financial risk. Also, you will not have to pay us a penny if the case is unsuccessful.
There are also other available funding types which our solicitors can explain better to you when you meet us for initial consultation.
Q: Can I Make Claims On Behalf Of A Loved One Who Has Passed Away As A Result Of Cancer Negligence?
Yes, you certainly can. When someone dies as a result of medical negligence, the law still stipulates that a compensation claim can still be made within three years after death.
If the deceased had a Will before their death, then the executor or administrator of their Will is legally entitled to bring a claim. The executors of the estate will then have to distribute the estate as well as the compensation received according to the Will of the deceased.
Our team of solicitors can guide you to make such claims for a deceased loved one.
Q: Can I Sue My GP For Cancer Misdiagnosis?
Of course, you are well within your rights to sue your GP for misdiagnosis if you strongly believe he was negligent in managing your condition, or made a mistake in diagnosing your condition which has caused you harm, pain and undue suffering.
Q: Will I Need A Medical Examination While Making My Claims?
In many medical negligence cases, you will most certainly need the services of an expert independent medical professional in the area of interest to perform vital medical examinations on you. This is necessary as the reports made by the medical expert will be used by your lawyer to form part of your evidence while proving your claims.