OBM

Medical Negligence

Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims

It's a tragic reality that 1 in every 4 deaths in Ireland is caused by cancer. This illness devastates the lives of both the patient and the people around them, and a misdiagnosis makes it even more difficult to bear. Due to the life threatening nature of this illness, an early diagnosis can make a significant impact on the outcome, resulting in earlier intervention and the highest likelihood of recovery. In contrast, a delay in diagnosis or an inaccurate diagnosis can mean a much lower chance of recovery and even death. 

The most common types of cancer in Ireland are:

  • Skin Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Bowel Cancer
  • Lung Cancer

If your cancer has been misdiagnosed by a doctor or hospital staff member due to medical negligence on their part, then you may be entitled to bring a cancer misdiagnosis claim against them for compensation for your losses. 

Contact us at OBM Solicitors today and we can assist you with your cancer misdiagnosis claim.

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What is cancer misdiagnosis?

The term "cancer misdiagnosis" refers to the failure by a medical practitioner to diagnose cancer, or to detect its presence in the body, despite symptoms that would typically signal a diagnosis. This can occur when doctors fail to perform tests necessary to diagnose cancer, or when they misinterpret test results in such a way that they miss the presence of cancer altogether. The effects of cancer misdiagnosis can be devastating for patients and their families. Not only do they face the possibility of dying from their disease, but they also may have undergone unnecessary treatments and lost valuable time that could have been spent trying to cure the illness.

Cancer misdiagnosis claims are typically based on negligence, meaning that medical professionals failed to exercise reasonable care in diagnosing and treating their patients' symptoms. Such claims can occur when:

  • Non-cancerous symptoms are misdiagnosed as cancer and/or treated as cancer, in error.
  • Cancer is not diagnosed or treated accurately, despite the patient presenting symptoms.
  • A cancer diagnosis is avoidably delayed.
  • A test for the presence of cancer is misdiagnosed.

What are the types of cancer misdiagnosis?

Cancer misdiagnosis can happen with any type of cancer, however there are some variants that are more commonly misdiagnosed. These include:

  • Lung Cancer: Early diagnosis of lung cancer can be difficult as symptoms often don’t start to manifest until the cancer has progressed. Another factor in diagnosis/misdiagnosis of lung cancer is that the symptoms can mimic a number of other medical conditions, such as asthma, acid reflux, bronchitis, and Covid-19.
  • Bowel Cancer: Patients suffering from changes to their bowel movements and abdominal pain/cramping are often dismissed as having Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or ulcerative colitis, without the physician investigating the possibility of cancer until a much later stage, if at all. Misdiagnosis of bowel cancer can be fatal once it has progressed.
  • Breast Cancer: Common signs of breast cancer such as swollen and painful areas and lumps in the breast tissue are often misdiagnosed as fibrocystic breasts and mastitis. Even if a breast cancer misdiagnosis is corrected on time to save the life of the patient, it can have devastating effects on their well-being and lead to life-changing consequences such as mastectomy surgery (removal of the breast/s).

It is simply not acceptable for patients to be dismissed when these symptoms occur and each patient should expect to be given precautionary cancer screening in these instances. Failing to do so can cost lives, and this is something that has become even more apparent in the wake of the cervical cancer screening scandal here in Ireland.

Two of the most common types of diagnosis errors are:

  • Delayed Diagnosis: This occurs when the medical practitioner fails to properly investigate the symptoms of the patient and diagnosis is delayed. When a diagnosis isn’t made promptly, in spite of evident symptoms, this dramatically reduces the patient’s chances of survival. Examples of diagnosis delays include:
    1. Failure by a GP to refer a patient to a specialist and/or for cancer screening.
    2. When the screening results are misread by the laboratory or clinic.
    3. Faulty equipment resulting in incorrect screening.
    4. Unqualified or inexperienced medical professionals operating the equipment in screening.
  • Failure to Diagnose: Some instances of cancer misdiagnosis compensation claims arise because the medical practitioner either A. mistakes cancer symptoms for other non-cancerous conditions, or B. dismisses symptoms as minor/less serious. These cases are incredibly alarming as the patient is often treated for a completely different illness with similar symptoms, only to discover at a much later date (often too late) that they were misdiagnosed. Such patients can potentially seek a cancer misdiagnosis settlement.

How to claim for cancer misdiagnosis?

If you have received a cancer misdiagnosis in Ireland, our friendly and approachable solicitors are here to guide you through the process of making a claim. With years of experience in dealing with cancer misdiagnosis compensation claims, we understand the sensitivity required in this area to help our clients feel comfortable and reassured every step of the way. 

In your initial consult, we will discuss your experience and invite you to ask any and every question you might have so that you are armed with all of the information you need for the journey ahead. During this consult, we will go through the steps involved in making a cancer misdiagnosis compensation claim:

  • We will collect and review your medical records.
  • We will engage an independent medical expert to assess whether any negligence took place.
  • If it is concluded by the medical expert that negligence did occur, we will commence legal proceedings upon your instruction.

Our team of specialist solicitors have experience in a vast number of cancer misdiagnosis claims including, but not limited to, bowel cancer, vulvar cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer. We pride ourselves in building and maintaining a strong, trusting relationship with our clients to achieve the best possible outcome for each case. This has helped us to get substantial compensation for 1000s of individuals in Ireland. 

To speak with one of our trusted advisors about your claim, call us OBM solicitors on 01-874 6959 or fill in our online contact form and we will get right back to you.