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Cancer Misdiagnosis

Cancer must be diagnosed swiftly and accurately to give you the best chance of recovery.

If your initial diagnosis was late (or wrong), the cancer can be harder to treat. In the worst cases it can become terminal.

No amount of money will make up for this failing but it could provide for you and your family as you battle the illness and struggle to support your loved ones.

Types Of Cancer Misdiagnosis

  • Delay or failure to refer you to a specialist
  • Failure to arrange further testing when symptoms first became known
  • Failure to schedule a biopsy or investigation once abnormalities were discovered
  • Failure to act appropriately once results were given to them
  • Failure to organise the required treatments

Impact Of Cancer Misdiagnosis

It is of the utmost importance that clinicians recognise the symptoms of cancer swiftly and act on them immediately. Speed is vital to maximise your chances of recovery. 

But sometimes GPs and other medical professionals make mistakes and diagnose your condition too late. This can make it harder to treat your cancer – forcing the hospital to use stronger radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

In the very worst cases, the doctors can take so long to diagnose the cancer that it grows, spreads and becomes impossible to treat – leaving the patient with a terminal condition. Their life could have been saved if the doctors had made the right diagnosis and acted sooner.

And even if earlier diagnosis would not have resulted in full remission, it could have meant:

  • longer survival  
  • better managed symptoms in the final period of palliative care.

How Our Solicitors Have Helped Patients With Misdiagnosed Cancers

Our specialist medical negligence lawyers have acted for clients in a large number of cases across the country.

We successfully claimed on behalf of a woman in her 40s who had cervical cancer diagnosed later than it should have been. This late diagnosis meant she needed aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment – causing continence and mobility issues. This reduced her life expectancy, left her unable to work and needing ongoing care.

The hospital trust involved admitted liability at an early stage. We were able to gain damages of £675,000 for our client for her pain and suffering, her care requirements and her loss of earnings.

Will Claiming Compensation Affect My Care In Hospital?

The simple answer is ‘no’.

Most claims occur after you the patient have left hospital but in some cases you may still be having treatment. You can still claim compensation in this situation – but there are wider considerations.

Yes, you can change your doctor or hospital during your on-going treatment. But if you do decide to stay at the same hospital, it is likely that you will be seen by a different consultant and team.

They are respected professionals so they should not treat you any less well because you’re taking legal action against their colleague – if anything you’re likely to be treated better as they attempt to fix the original mistake.

Claiming Compensation For Late Or Incorrect Diagnosis

Our legal experts can assist you in identifying whether there has been a delay or a misdiagnosis that would lead to a successful compensation claim. 

Our medical negligence solicitors approach all cases with sensitivity but especially ones such as these. We understand that – in many instances – the key reason for claiming is to seek answers from those responsible, to obtain an apology and to prevent other patients suffering due to similar mistakes.

We can help if you have suffered unnecessarily because of delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of any type of cancer.

By making a claim, you could secure funds to make things a little easier for you and your family. We can help you to access appropriate medical experts and – where suitable – to organise rehabilitation.

We handle all medical negligence claims on a No Win No Fee basis – so there is no financial risk to you or your family. You do not have to worry about paying any legal fees up front. 

If your claim is successful (as it is in most cases), the costs from your damages payout would be restricted to a ‘success fee’ (to pay your solicitor) and an After The Event (ATE) insurance premium.

In the unlikely event of your claim not being successful, all your costs would be covered by the ATE insurance.

Commonly Misdiagnosed Types Of Cancer

  • Cervical cancer – did your GP fail to recommend Pap smear tests or HPV tests early enough? Did you have to wait for a thorough examination with a magnifying colposcope to confirm whether any of your cells were abnormal?
  • Ovarian cancer – did they take too long to carry out a CA125 blood test, an abdominal or transvaginal ultrasound, a CT scan, X-ray, needle biopsy or laparoscopy (keyhole surgery and camera check)?
  • Breast cancer – did your GP fail to refer you for a mammogram or breast ultrasound in time? Were there delays before the clinicians suggested a biopsy or needle aspiration?
  • Bowel cancer – was your GP slow in recommending a colonoscopy, CT scan or sigmoidoscopy (examination using a camera and light on a thin tube)?
  • Prostate cancer – when did you undergo a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test? Were you referred in time for an MRI scan, transperineal biopsy, transrectal biopsy, CT scan or PET scan?
  • Lung cancer – did you receive a chest X-ray, CT scan, PET-CT scan, bronchoscopy and biopsy or endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) in time?
  • Bone (Sarcoma) cancer – was there a gap between you reporting the lump on your arm, leg or trunk and the doctors recommending a scan, biopsy or bone scan?

Our solicitors treat every client with understanding and sensitivity. We will answer all of your questions as fully as you would like. Staying informed can remove the fear of the unknown
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Get Expert Legal Help – Book A Free Initial Chat

Were doctors late diagnosing your cancer? Did they get it wrong at first? Get expert legal help from our specialist team of medical negligence solicitors. 

Book your free initial consultation to find out about making a No Win No Fee compensation claim.

Meet the team

Adrian Cormack

Partner, Head of Personal Injury Department

David Simpson

Partner, Head of Medical Negligence

Lydia Barnett


Lucy Andrew

Costs Lawyer

Gen Clarke


Hannah Chave