Being told you have cancer is horrific, terrifying and probably one of the worst things you can hear. Having been diagnosed with cancer you will quickly be put on a treatment plan which will give you the best possible chance of survival and remission. It is hard to imagine being grateful to be diagnosed with cancer but imagine those people who have been unwell for months, have seen doctors and had hospital visits, tests and scans and have been sent away or treated for minor ailments when all along they have had cancer. Misdiagnosed cancer is quite common but it is hard to pin down the statistics on misdiagnosis.
From research, we do know that a large proportion of malpractice cases are based on misdiagnosis or late treatment of serious conditions and the top five most common misdiagnosis cases are heart attack, breast cancer, appendicitis, lung cancer and colon cancer.
Stafford Hospital has recently been in the news after a report was published highlighting failings of care at the hospital between 2005 and 2009 which may have contributed to the death of up to 1,200 patients. Victims of the â€œappallingâ€ failings of care include patients whose cancer was misdiagnosed. 81-year-old Joan Giles had lymphoma which was originally misdiagnosed as kidney stones, 63-year-old Ronald Millington was told he had fibrous scar tissue when a third scan showed lung cancer. His family believes he would have had a better chance of survival had the cancer been diagnosed originally.
The charityÂ Target Ovarian Cancer has recently highlighted the problems with correct diagnosis for ovarian cancer. Their research shows that misdiagnosis and delays in treatment for ovarian cancer are cutting patient survival chances, they found that it can take up to six months to receive a correct diagnosis for a third of women with more than 50% of cases being misdiagnosed initially.
Patients who have been victims of cancer misdiagnosis and families of patients who have died following misdiagnosis are responsible for highlighting these problems and helping ensure that specific doctors or hospitals are aware of their mistakes. As well as being entitled to claim compensation for neglect it is important to raise awareness and ensure that the same misdiagnosis do not continue to happen.
Specialist compensation claim solicitors such as Bolt Burdon Kemp have specialist medical negligence solicitors who will progress your compensation claim. Securing early payments is important as money might be needed to fund current treatment or help with daily financials if working is not possible whilst you are ill.