Receiving a cancer diagnosis is hardship enough for anyone. But receiving an incorrect diagnosis of cancer can also have an enormous impact on a patient.
If you are misdiagnosed, or if your cancer diagnosis is later than it should have been, you could be eligible for a medical negligence claim.
Some patients may be misdiagnosed as having cancer. Some patients may have undergone unnecessary medical procedures, and others have developed a severe psychological reaction to the belief that they were terminally ill.
The most common forms of cancer in the UK are breast cancer, lung cancer, bowel cancer and prostate cancer. These account for over half of all new cancer cases.
The most common route to cancer diagnoses is the two-week wait, according to Cancer Research UK.
The annual National Cancer Patient Experience Survey looks at self-reported patient experiences of cancer diagnosis. Overall, most patients report positive experiences, but when misdiagnosis or late diagnosis occur, the impact can be extremely harmful.
What is a Misdiagnosis of Cancer?
An incorrect diagnosis of cancer may involve your GP or other healthcare professionals. Someone may, for example, misinterpret your test results, or misdiagnose the symptoms you are displaying.
If you are referred to a cancer specialist, this can lead to further delays in treatment. These issues may then mean you can make an incorrect cancer diagnosis claim. Misdiagnosis of cancer is a form of medical negligence.
The Potential Impact of Cancer Misdiagnosis
As a result of cancer misdiagnosis, some patients may undergo unnecessary medical procedures. There can be damaging psychological effects too, if a patient believes they are terminally ill.
Along with incorrect or inappropriate treatment arising from misdiagnosis, there can also be issues with side effects from medication or chemotherapy treatment. Late diagnosis resulting from initial incorrect diagnosis may mean the cancer is more advanced before treatment can start, leading to severe or life-changing impact, or even death.
For more information, help, advice or support, about making a cancer misdiagnosis claim, please contact us today using the form on this page.
Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer
Cancer has various stages of development, and the sooner cancer is detected the better the potential prognosis for the patient. If opportunities are missed to diagnose and treat cancer, the cancer will develop to a more advanced stage as a consequence the delay will have made a difference to the outcome. Unfortunately, the effect is extremely serious. However, a delay of a few months will not normally make a difference.
A delay in diagnosis of cancer can occur when:
- X-rays and scans were misinterpreted
- Tissue samples and smears were wrongly interpreted by pathologists
- An adequate investigation was not carried out.
Clinical Negligence with Prescription Errors
Mistakes with prescriptions can occur when GPs or hospital doctors write a prescription with an incorrect spelling or dosage or administration advice. Alternatively, pharmacies can also issue the incorrect medication or dosage to patients. Many medication errors cause harm only for a short period, but some result in serious injury, illness and even death.
When prescriptions are issued for children, particular care has to be taken to ensure the medication and dosage are appropriate for their age and weight. However, this is not always done and harm can occur.
If you have been prescribed the incorrect medication, then you may be entitled to claim compensation and you should contact us to discuss the matter in more detail.