Almost 1 in 3 people will die from cancer and for everyone given a timely and accurate diagnosis there are many more whose illness is not diagnosed until it is too late. The key to survival is swift diagnosis and treatment with some cancers responding extremely well to appropriate intervention. Failure by a doctor to properly diagnose this condition comes to the attention of most cancer negligence solicitors every year. Cancer misdiagnosis or cancer late diagnosis is inevitably due to either a failure on the part of the patient for ignoring obvious signs that need investigation or more commonly due to negligence by a healthcare professional who ignores the signs and symptoms exhibited by the patient and who fails to order appropriate testing, the results of which need to be accurately interpreted. Most cancer negligence solicitors will deal with claims using the no win no fee scheme. A cancer negligence solicitor only charges legal fees if the case is won and you receive compensation for personal injury. If the case is lost, cancer negligence solicitors write off their time and expense and you do not receive a bill.
Late Diagnosis & Mis-Diagnosis
There is simply no excuse for late diagnosis or mis-diagnosis of cancer given that a patient’s life may depend on a healthcare practitioner acting with due diligence. In addition to providing a cure, early diagnosis may also improve the quality of life of a patient even when there is no hope of recovery. Common mistakes in the diagnosis of cancer include not taking a patients complaints or symptoms seriously, not following up on obvious symptoms, erroneous test results, misreading of test results or X-rays by doctors or technicians, lost records and not referring the patient to a specialist in a timely manner.
There is also a serious problem with treatment if a positive diagnosis of cancer is made when in fact there is no cancer present. The main treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation all of which are designed to kill living cells. If these treatments are carried out there can be horrific damage to a patient who did not need the erroneous treatment. This is known as a ’false positive’ diagnosis and if treatment has been unnecessarily carried out, it will inevitably lead to a cancer medical negligence compensation claim. Damages in this case not only include a figure for pain and suffering, but also compensation for nervous stress and for any financial losses as a result of the patient putting their affairs in order prior to an anticipated early death.