Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims
In most cases, cancer misdiagnosis doesn’t cross the minds of those who have undergone medical tests, as they have an inherent trust that their doctor will correctly diagnose their medical issue. Having said this, there are cases where a doctor may deliver a misdiagnosis of cancer, i.e. incorrect diagnosis or a delay in diagnosis of cancer. The worry for the patient is that the failure to diagnose the cancer at an early stage or at all, means that the effectiveness of the treatments can be less advantageous for the patient, which could result in:
- Pain suffering and injuries that could have been avoided
- Prolonging of the illness, that could have been avoided, and,
- Reduced chances of recovery
In the event where cancer has been misdiagnosed or the diagnosis has been delayed, the patient may be entitled to claim compensation for medical negligence/malpractice *.
Main Causes of Cancer Misdiagnosis
Misdiagnosis of cancer can occur for a number of reasons, for example:
- False positive or false negative results from a faulty cancer screening
- MRI or CT scans fail to identify cancerous lesions if the lesions are too small to detect.
- Lab errors
- Human error / incompetence of medical practitioner who fails to recognise the signs of cancer or misinterpret cancer as another illness.
Common Types of Cancer Misdiagnosis
Medical negligence claims for misdiagnosis of cancer have been associated with many types of cancer, not just in Ireland, but globally, in:
- Bladder Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Colon and Rectal Cancer
- Endometrial Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Skin Cancer
- Stomach Cancer
- Thyroid Cancer
- Uterine Cancer
Medical negligence claims * for misdiagnosis of cancer can be grouped into the following categories:
Incorrect Cancer Diagnosis (Misdiagnosis of Cancer)
Incorrect cancer diagnosis (cancer misdiagnosis) occurs when the doctor gives a cancer diagnosis to a patient without cancer. In this case a non-cancer patient will undergo unnecessary cancer treatment.
Another instance of cancer misdiagnosis is when a doctor misdiagnosis cancer for another illness and the cancer patient does not undergo the relevant treatment or misses their window of opportunity for cancer treatment.
Failure to Diagnose Cancer
In this case a medical practitioner completely fails to notice the signs of cancer and completely fails to diagnose the patient’s cancer. This can lead to fatalities as the patient may not be diagnosed until the symptoms reach their peak when it may be too late to treat the cancer.
Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer
Delayed diagnosis of cancer occurs when medical professionals fails to detect the patients cancer at the early stages. When diagnosis of cancer is delayed, so is the treatment, which can lead to complications for the patient in the future or in aggressive cancer patients can lead to their untimely death.
Process of Making a Cancer Misdiagnosis Compensation Claim *
Claiming compensation for misdiagnosis of cancer differs from personal injury claims *, in that Injuries Board do not review medical negligence claims *. Therefore the claim must be brought thought he courts. However, if the medical practice responsible for the cancer misdiagnosis offers an adequate settlement it is possible for your claim to be settle outside of court.
The first step in assessing whether you have a medical negligence claim * for cancer misdiagnosis is to contact a medical negligence solicitor, your best option is to contact a medical negligence * solicitor who is a ‘Law Society of Ireland Practicing Solicitor’.
In order for your solicitor to establish a medical negligence * case for you to claim compensation for cancer misdiagnosis the following steps will need to be taken:
- All your medical records including those from before the misdiagnosis will need to be obtained.
- A medical examination and subsequent report with an expert in the field will need to be organised to prove your misdiagnosis and that the medical practice you were treated by fell short of acceptable standards.