Over the years, the diagnosis and treatment of different types of cancer has improved significantly, and the rates of survival are continually improving.

Most diagnoses occur as a result of a medical professional reviewing a patient’s symptoms and if necessary, referring them to a referral to a specialist unit for further tests. Most of the time, our doctors are skilled in recognising concerns and making timely referrals; however, there are occasions where there can be a delay in diagnosing cancer.

Delays can occur for many reasons, but most often we find that the symptoms that a patient presents with have been misinterpreted for another medical condition, or the symptoms have been missed and the patients were referred to the appropriate specialists. There have also been rare situations where test results or scans have been incorrectly interpreted.

We know that early detection of cancer is key for patients to receive appropriate treatment and hopefully recover. If there has been a delay, the cancer may have spread to other areas of the body, or increased in size, and may have reduced the chances of survival. As well as a lower chance of recovery and possible reduction in life expectancy, delays in diagnosis can also mean that patients have to undergo more lengthy or more invasive treatment,

Delays in diagnosis often also create significant emotional stress both for the patient and their families.

Is it possible to bring a claim?

It can be possible to claim for a delay in diagnosis of cancer and this can extend to all types of cancer. Different types of cancer can be more aggressive than others, and will have different rates of survival. Therefore, the amount of delay can vary hugely in the effect  that it will have on the patient.

In order to succeed in bringing a claim, we will need to evaluate, with the help of medical experts, at what stage the diagnosis should have been made and what treatment options would have been available at that time. We also ask our experts to comment on how likely survival would have been if earlier diagnosis had been made.

If there has been a recognised delay in the diagnosis, but the treatment would have remained the same, and there has been no adverse effect on your survival rate, we will be unable to bring a medical negligence claim and obtain compensation. This is because earlier diagnosis would not have altered the outcome. In other words, a delay with no causative effect, is not enough to warrant compensation.

Our medical negligence team are specialised in bringing claims for delays in diagnosis, and would be happy to discuss with you, if you believe that you have been affected.

Call us on 0333 3580 393 or email wecanhelp@ringroselaw.co.uk

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