Types of cancer misdiagnosis

One of the key factors in the successful treatment of cancer is timely diagnosis. If the diagnosis of your cancer is delayed due to negligence, you may be able to claim financial damages. Cancer misdiagnosis claims include claims for the following kinds of cancer:

  • Bowel
  • Breast
  • Cervical
  • Lung
  • Prostate
  • Ovarian
  • Skin
  • Testicular
  • Pancreatic 

Bowel cancer misdiagnosis claims

A concern for patients is that the failure to diagnose bowel cancer at an early stage or at all could make treatment less effective. If the available treatments are administered late, they could cause: 

  • Avoidable pain, suffering, and injuries 
  • Preventable prolonging of the illness
  • Less change of recovery

If your bowel cancer was diagnosed late or it was diagnosed incorrectly, you may be able to make a bowel cancer misdiagnosis claim against your doctor, if you can prove medical negligence

Breast cancer misdiagnosis claims

Breast cancer is an extremely common cancer among women in Ireland. Early detection is vital to enhance the chances of recovery. If you present with symptoms of cancer to a medical practitioner, you should be referred for follow-up assessment. If cancer is detected, you should be put on an urgent treatment plan appropriate for your needs.

Medical negligence in the diagnosis of breast cancer could involve:

  • Failure to identify symptoms of cancer
  • Failure to refer to a specialist if cancer is suspected
  • Failure to see the patient within a set period after referral
  • Failure to commence treatment within a set period
  • A missed diagnosis (or an incorrect diagnosis) of cancer
  • Implementing an incorrect treatment plan
  • Failure to monitor the progress of cancer and make appropriate changes to the treatment programme
  • Mistakes in surgery
  • Failure to explain the risks of cancer treatment

Breast cancer screening claims

The national breast cancer screening programme, BreastCheck, was established to reduce the number of women who die from breast cancer by detecting the disease at an early stage when it may be more easily and effectively treated. BreastCheck was established to the highest international standards, and the official European accreditation group Euref has awarded it its highest standard of accreditation. However, although mammography is the best available test to screen for breast cancer, it is neither 100% accurate. It will not detect all cancers and not all lesions that look suspicious on a mammogram will turn out to be cancer. 

If you have grounds to believe that failure to diagnose your breast cancer was due to negligence during your breast cancer screening experience, you may be entitled to claim for financial damages. You will need to consult your solicitor for guidance.

Cervical cancer misdiagnosis claims

In Ireland, roughly 300 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually. The age category with the highest number of cervical cancer patients is between 30 and fifty years. As with all cancers, survival rates are far higher when cervical cancer is diagnosed and treated early. The five-year survival rate for cervical cancer is 66%, but this plummets the later the disease is diagnosed. This makes a misdiagnosis or late diagnosis of the illness particularly grim for the person affected.

If your diagnosis of cervical cancer was delayed by what you believe to be medical negligence, and you have suffered as a result, you may be entitled to make a cervical cancer misdiagnosis claim.

Cervical screening claims

The Health Service Executive’s Cervical Check Programme was launched to screen women for pre-cancerous cells and ultimately reduce the number of cases of cervical cancer in Ireland.

However, the HSE has been found negligent because 1,500 women who were diagnosed with cervical cancer did not have their smear test results reviewed by the National Screening Service to determine if their cancer could have been detected sooner.  If you have been affected by cervical screening negligence, an experienced medical negligence solicitor may be able to help you claim financial damages.

Lung cancer misdiagnosis claims

Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in Ireland, but if detected early, the 5-year survival rate can be as high as 90%. The survival rate plummets to a mere 5% for late-stage diagnosis, however. This makes it extremely important to diagnose lung cancer as soon as possible.

If you, or a member of your family, have suffered because of a misdiagnosis of lung cancer, or if your diagnosis was delayed because your medical practitioner thought it was something else, you may be entitled to bring a lung cancer misdiagnosis claim. For advice, speak to a solicitor about your case.

Prostate cancer misdiagnosis claims

A misdiagnosed case of prostate cancer, or a delay in diagnosis can be devastating. If you have suffered because of a prostate cancer misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to claim for financial damages. The effects of a prostate cancer misdiagnosis can be physical, if your condition deteriorates because of it, and they can also be psychological, particularly if you were informed that your symptoms were less serious than they turned out to be. 

Common misdiagnoses of prostate cancer include:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Enlargement of the prostate
  • Prostatitis

Your solicitor will approach your prostate cancer claim with understanding and sensitivity, so that you can take steps to recover.

Ovarian cancer misdiagnosis claims

Ovarian cancer treatment is progressing all the time, but cases are still misdiagnosed or not treated appropriately. The symptoms of ovarian cancer may not appear until the cancer is quite advanced, which makes it vital for doctors to identify it early and refer you for treatment as soon as possible. A medical negligence solicitor can help you claim financial damages if you’ve received negligent care. This could be because:

  • Your cancer was misdiagnosed
  • Appropriate tests were not conducted
  • A GP failed to refer you to a specialist
  • Errors were made interpreting scans 
  • No biopsy was given or the biopsy was misread
  • Blood tests were not taken

Medical negligence in ovarian cancer diagnosis can have devastating consequences, including hysterectomies and even death.

Skin cancer misdiagnosis claims

When identified in the early stages, most types of skin cancer are very treatable. However, some cancers (including malignant melanoma) can spread aggressively to other parts of the body if not caught in time. GPs and other medical professionals need to be vigilant for the warning signs of skin cancer, especially the more aggressive forms of the disease. These signs include the following in relation to moles or lumps:

  • Bleeding or pain
  • Changes in colour
  • Irregular shape
  • Increase in size (melanomas are generally bigger than 6mm in diameter)
  • Itching

If your skin cancer has developed or spread due to medical negligence, you may be able to claim. Similarly, if your treatment was substandard, you could be entitled to claim.

Testicular cancer misdiagnosis claims

Testicular cancer is particularly common among men aged 25-49, but it has a high survival rate when diagnosed properly. However, if your doctor does not diagnose it properly or there is a delay in diagnosis, it can spread and become increasingly difficult to treat. Common symptoms of testicular cancer include:

  • Pain or aching 
  • Swelling or a lump 
  • A feeling of heaviness 

A medical negligence solicitor can help you make a claim if you have suffered because of negligent treatment for testicular cancer. Medical errors that can be considered negligent include failure to:

  • Examine the patient
  • Diagnose the patient
  • Refer the patient to a specialist 
  • Perform an accurate biopsy after removing a testicle (orchidectomy)

Men who were wrongly diagnosed with testicular cancer may also be able to seek compensation for the trauma caused by a misdiagnosis and unnecessary surgery. 

Pancreatic cancer misdiagnosis claims

Discovering that you have pancreatic cancer is particularly traumatic if you find out that you could have been diagnosed sooner or you could have had better treatment. Diagnosing pancreatic cancer can be difficult because the symptoms are not always apparent in the early stages. Without the proper treatment in time, however, pancreatic cancer can be devastating and even fatal. You may be able to make a claim for compensation for a pancreatic cancer misdiagnosis if:

  • Pancreatic cancer was misdiagnosed
  • Symptoms of your condition were overlooked
  • Test results were misinterpreted
  • The correct surgery was not performed
  • Correct procedures were not followed

If pancreatic cancer is not diagnosed early, intensive treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be required. Delayed diagnosis or malpractice can sometimes result in fatalities.

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