Cancer Misdiagnosis

Cancer claims require specialist knowledge and advice.

In general the cases we deal with fall into one of two categories:

  • Where cancer was not spotted at all
  • Where there was a delay in diagnosis and treatment

Failure to spot cancer can be because clear clinical signs were missed or there was a failure to make a referral for further investigations. It is well established that the prospects of a successful recovery from cancer increases significantly the earlier it is caught.

Delays in diagnosis and treatment can be difficult. Sometimes there is a delay merely because it takes time to arrange the relevant treatment and tests. This is not necessarily negligent.

However, where problems and symptoms are ignored the delay can be critical in avoiding preventable cancer or development of a condition. Whether delay or failure to diagnose will have an impact in this respect will depend on the type of cancer and how it develops.

The consequences of misdiagnosis can vary – However, it can mean that you are forced to undergo unnecessary treatment surgery which would otherwise have been avoidable. It may even mean that the cancer has become untreatable.

Our cases :-

Our client Mr B suffered a delay in the diagnosis of his bowel cancer when his GP inexplicably failed to organise tests that had been requested by a Consultant. A two and a half year delay caused the need for him to undergo pelvic exenteration, neo-adjuvant radiotherapy and chemotherapy and in particular would have avoided removal of the bladder, seminal vesicles, prostate and subsequent need to remove a kidney.

We acted for the widow of a Police who suffered an injury on duty.  He was referred for physiotherapy treatment via the Occupational Health Service. After treatment the physiotherapist recommended that the deceased be referred for specialist orthopaedic opinion.  There was a delay in this happening. It was not until much later that an MRI scan of the leg which revealed a synovial sarcoma, which had metastasised to the lung. The deceased underwent treatment including a below the knee amputation of the right leg. Unfortunately he died.  Liability was denied. Both causation and liability were difficult issues but we were able to resolve the claim for £350,000 after proceedings were commenced.