Finding out that you or a loved one has Cancer is absolutely devastating, whilst considering the prognosis, treatment and overall implications you may start to consider if it could have been diagnosed sooner.
Cancer Clinical Negligence Claims
Most claims in this area relate to a delay or a failure to diagnose the disease. It is well known that the earlier a cancer is diagnosed, the better chance there is of treating it. Sometimes, the period of delay is so long that the disease spreads and the outlook for the patient becomes very poor. In other cases, the delay causes the need for more extensive surgery/treatment and damage to surrounding structures when a simple local excision (removal) is all that should have been necessary.
Early diagnosis gives a better chance of treating cancer. Most people will visit their GP when they start to experience new symptoms and become worried. It is important that their GP identifies any “red flag” symptoms and refers them for further tests, or to a specialist who can make an accurate diagnosis. Red flag symptoms are symptoms that indicate a more serious underlying pathology
In order to pursue a clinical negligence claim the onus is on you to prove that there was a delay in diagnosis and that the delay caused your health to worsen and that your treatment would have been less invasive or more successful had it begun earlier.
You may be able to pursue a clinical negligence claim if you have attended the GP repeatedly over a period of time, complaining of persistent or worsening symptoms which should have been investigated further-or considered as “red flag” symptoms.
Different types of cancer progress at different rates and this will be considered carefully when pursuing a clinical negligence claim. An expert Oncologist will be consulted to consider the natural history of the cancer and how it progresses. Some cancers progress at a slower rate than others and although you may be able to identify a delay, it might not have caused your health to worsen and the treatment and prognosis may remain the same.
Negligence can also occur when medical professionals misinterpret scans, smears or test results, or when test results are lost and there are delays in obtaining new samples.
How we can help?
Our team of clinical negligence lawyers have handled cases involving: damaging delays in the diagnosis of breast cancer; cervical cancer, various oral cancers; prostate cancer; bowel cancer; skin cancer; throat cancer; lung cancer; spinal tumours and brain tumours.
If you would like to speak to a member of our team in order to discuss your case call Ison Harrison now for free advice on 0113 284 5000. We recognise that damages arising from a successful claim are often not the priority, but a claim can often affect a change in care so that mistakes are avoided in the future and improve patient care.