The importance of diagnosing cancer early

It’s estimated that a third of us will suffer from cancer sufferer at some point in our lives. It affects all age groups and can often be devastating, but many cancers can be effectively treated if picked up early enough before it has had a chance to grow and spread (metastasise).

The failure of your GP to diagnose cancer at an early stage can make treatment far more intensive and difficult or can even mean the difference between life and death. Other medical professionals such as oncologists, radiologists, and surgeons will also have a duty to assess the success of treatment, and continuous evaluation will generally be necessary to monitor the risk of recurrence.

Although it’s generally far more serious if a doctor fails to diagnose cancer, if cancer is diagnosed when it’s not in fact present (ie. a false positive) this can be extremely stressful and cause anxiety or depression.

Why is cancer misdiagnosed?

There are a whole variety of reasons that cancer might be missed or misdiagnosed. These may include:

●    failure by a GP to recognise or properly investigate symptoms, such as lack of referral
●    screening program failure, such as missing or misdiagnosing pre-cancerous changes in cervical smear analysis or errors with breast screening
●    diagnostic failure upon referral, where tumours or pre-cancerous symptoms are not detected
●    failures in communication between multi-disciplinary teams (eg. involving oncologists, radiologists and surgeons)
●    inadequate surgery which does not fully excise tumours
●    inappropriate staging of treatment between surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy etc

Claiming compensation for failure to diagnose cancer

If you or your loved one has suffered due to cancer misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose the disease, it may be possible to claim compensation. The medical negligence team at CH Legal has substantial experience dealing with all types of cancer diagnoses issues. To discuss your case, contact Rukhsana Arif or phone 0845 4786 354.