Early detection and treatment of cancer can significantly improve patient outcomes. However, symptoms and signs of cancer can sometimes be overlooked or misdiagnosed, with serious consequences.

Making a compensation claim for a delay in cancer diagnosis can be a complex process. In such cases, a patient has to prove that if earlier treatment had been provided, this would have significantly improved the outcome. However, the patient has only to prove that the favourable outcome was ‘more likely than not’ to occur.

Clearly this is not a straightforward matter. Due to the complexities involved in bringing such a claim, it is important that a patient is represented by specialist lawyers with experience in advising Claimants about delays in cancer diagnosis.

Our clinical negligence team is highly experienced in handling cancer cases involving bladder, breast, bowel, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, skin and optic nerve tumours.

In most cases, clients have visited their GP or a hospital to express concerns regarding their health in the above areas. Claims against a GP can be brought in cases where the GP has not appreciated the significance of particular symptoms and so has not made a referral to hospital or to the correct department.

Claims against a hospital can be made where the GP has made a referral and the hospital either fails to do the appropriate tests, or undertakes tests but then fails to correctly interpret the results or ensure the correct team are responsible for the patient.

If you would like to discuss your case further please contact a member of our specialist medical negligence team for a free initial consultation.


RELEVANT CASES

G v CWM TAFF LOCAL HEALTH BOARD

The deceased suffered back pain and had an x-ray at Llynypia hospital in April 2011. She underwent Physiotherapy, then due to persisting symptoms was referred for an MRI in June 2011 which showed no abnormalities. The Claimant insisted on being referred for a further x-ray which was again conducted at Llynypia hospital in June 2011.

She was diagnosed with cancer in early August 2011, and surgery was no longer an option as the cancer was too far advanced.

It was alleged that the original x-ray in April 2011 was misreported, leaving the Claimant undiagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the right lung.

The Defendant admitted breach of duty and damages were settled in the sum of £5000 on the basis that the cancer was already in the late stages by April 2011, and the grading of the Tumour would not have altered between that time and the date it was ultimately diagnosed in August 2011.

2 ½ months of additional pain and suffering were secured for the Estate of the deceased (in recognition of their error), who sadly died from her condition in November 2011.

A claim against the GPs to whom she had been presenting with symptoms before April 2011 remains ongoing.


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Rachel Kirby

RACHEL KIRBY

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