Tens of thousands of people are diagnosed with cancer each year and in order to treat the disease as well as possible, early detection and diagnosis is essential. In situations involving cancer misdiagnosis doctors have often been reluctant to refer patients on for further testing or for a second opinion and test results may have been interpreted incorrectly. In some cases, patients have been diagnosed with cancer when in fact they do not have the disease. In other cases, patients’ cancer has been misdiagnosed as being something else or a different type of cancer and so the necessary treatment has also consequently been delayed. Cancer misdiagnosis in all its forms inevitably causes patients a great deal of pain and suffering but it is something that unfortunately occurs quite regularly.
In one case which was reported last year, a 46 year old patient saw doctors 14 times before being diagnosed with bowel cancer. Each time she visited her doctors she was instead sent home with laxatives or instructions to cut out certain foods from her diet. When she was eventually diagnosed with bowel cancer she was given just 18 months to live. Moreover, Kylie Minogue, who suffered from breast cancer in 2005, was initially wrongly given the all clear by one of her doctors. She then sought a second opinion which was when she was properly diagnosed with the disease. Since being misdiagnosed Kylie has warned other sufferers just “because someone is in a white coat and using big medical instruments doesn’t necessarily mean they are right”.
Ovarian and cervical are types of cancer which are notoriously difficult to diagnose and are consequently often misdiagnosed as other illnesses. Ovarian cancer is often known as the ‘silent killer’ as the symptoms can easily be attributed to much less serious conditions, such as IBS. Furthermore, in one instance which was reported in The Daily Mail last year, a 33 year old mother was misdiagnosed thirty times. Even though she had been suffering in agony for months and had presented symptoms, her cervical cancer was not diagnosed until three months before she died.
If you or a family member have been victim a victim of misdiagnosed cancer than you may be able to claim medical negligence compensation. Bolt Burdon Kemp solicitors are medical negligence experts with a wealth of experience successfully claiming compensation for both misdiagnosed cancer and delayed diagnosis. As well as receiving compensation which can alleviate the costs of treatment, injuries and any loss of earnings, bringing a claim against a healthcare professional can help prevent the same mistakes happening again in the future.