Misdiagnosis Claim Solicitors
London Medical Negligence Lawyers
Failure or delay in arranging necessary tests or to carryout essential investigations or even to report accurately the outcome of scans or biopsies can have a serious impact upon us as patients. Diagnosing errors and delays are amongst the most common cause of complaint and claims to clinical negligence solicitors.
If your doctor has failed to investigate fully the symptoms of serious illness, has failed to perform tests necessary to exclude an illness and you have been left to deal with the serious consequences of those failures then you should seek expert legal advice from the team of clinical negligence solicitors here at Rollingsons.
Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions
In the UK a common medical negligence claim is for failure to diagnose cancer. Regrettably a successful outcome for treatment is often reliant upon early diagnosis of cancer.
During our lives cancer will affect most of us in some way. Indeed many of us will have had a family member or friend who has been touched by this disease. It can appear in so many forms such as breast, cervical, lung, ovarian, prostate, testicular and many others. Research is ongoing and thankfully a number of cancers are now treatable if diagnosed early. Screening programmes have been introduced for breast and cervical cancer and whilst survival rates are increasing the UK still falls behind other European countries due to delays in diagnosis. Some GPs are still failing to indentify symptoms of cancer and to refer patients for specialist investigations.
Breast cancer misdiagnosis
This is the most common form of cancer found in women. A misdiagnosis may occur if test results are misinterpreted or a lump is missed on examination. In these circumstances the treatment required may be more aggressive and prolonged and the chances of success substantially reduced when in fact early diagnosis could have greatly improved the chances of successfully treating the cancer.
Ovarian cancer misdiagnosis
Ovarian cancer symptoms are difficult to spot as they are often vague and can be related to much less serious conditions but this can mean that ovarian cancer is not picked up by GPS and not diagnosed early.
Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumour which begins in the ovaries but may spread. There are increased risks of developing this cancer if you have not had children, have relatives who have suffered from the condition or you have used hormone or fertility drugs. The cause of ovarian cancer is still unknown.
Cervical cancer misdiagnosis
When the reality TV star Jade Goody died in 2009 from cervical cancer there was a huge increase in the number of women who sought a smear test but in 2014 those figures have dropped to “pre Jade Goody” levels. In England Wales and Northern Ireland Screening is offered to all women between the age of 25 and 49 every 3 years and for women between the age of 50 and 64 every 5 years yet one in five women eligible for screening do not attend. Again, early detection and diagnosis increases the chances of successful treatment but a misdiagnosis or the failure or delay in diagnosis can result in the need for more aggressive treatment or the subsequent return of the cancer – for example when insufficient cells have been removed.
Prostate cancer misdiagnosis
Men may be notorious for putting their heads in the sand when it comes to medical symptoms and are often reluctant to seek the advice of a doctor but what happens when they pluck up the courage to seek help and the doctor fails to diagnose the condition? Guidelines say that men who have symptoms that could be due to prostate cancer should be offered a blood test (to check the level of a protein called PSA) and also a rectal examination. Whilst there are situations when a GP may be justified in delaying carrying out a PSA test, for example when a patient has a urine infection which might affect the accuracy of the PSA test, a lengthy delay without explanation may be grounds for a medical negligence claim if that delay was substantial and resulted in a delay in diagnosis. 90% of prostate cancers are treated successfully but again early diagnosis is crucial.
A delay in diagnosis or a misdiagnosis could have huge implications for the nature of the treatment required or the ultimate outcome.
Rollingsons Solicitors Ltd has specialist solicitors experienced in handling medical negligence cases for patients and their families already trying to cope with the trauma of being diagnosed with cancer. For a free no obligation initial consultation, please contact the medical negligence team at Rollingsons Solicitors Ltd.