Lung cancer misdiagnosis compensation solicitors.
Lung Cancer is listed as being the third most common type of cancer in the UK, just behind breast and prostate cancer.
Nearly 50,000 people each year are diagnosed with some form of lung cancer.
Life expectancy is very much linked to early detection and diagnosis of lung cancer which means that misdiagnosis of the cancer can mean the difference between living for several, or perhaps many, more years, or just a few months.
In the event that you are misdiagnosed because of negligence, you are likely entitled to make a claim for compensation. Speak to one of MG Legal’s expert medical negligence solicitors today and find out how we can help you, all on a no win no fee agreement, with no financial risk to you.
Lung Cancer and how it affects you.
Lung Cancer is any cancer which affects the lungs or airways and so, medically speaking, lung cancer can also include the bronchioles(air pipes leading into the lungs) as well as the lung tissue.
Symptoms can include:
Change in cough, if you have a cough for different reasons/conditions
Being short of breath
Coughing up blood in the phlegm
Chest or shoulder pain
Recurrent chest infections
Fatigue or lethargy
Many of these symptoms are, of course, relatively vague and so, it is always recommended that you see your GP to see whether they believe a referral for more detailed tests should be carried out.
Lung Cancer Diagnosis and mortality rates.
Lung cancer is more common, the older you get, with smokers being the most common group of people diagnosed with some kind of lung cancer, at over 70%.
Almost half of all lung cancer patients are aged 75 or above. Other factors which make this a more likely diagnosis is exposure to radon gas, workplace chemicals, genetic pre-disposition and perhaps surprisingly, certain types of cancer treatment for other cancers.
Lung cancer has the second lowest survival rate of all common cancers, with pancreatic cancer being the most deadly. Of the patients diagnosed with lung cancer each year, with around 65% of patients having a life-expectancy of twelve months or less and over 85% having a life expectancy of five years or less. Early detection is vital to survival prospects, with 80% of all patients who are diagnosed at Stage 1, the first stage of cancer, surviving 12 months and 35% of the same people surviving at least 5 years. At the other end of the scale, less than 20% of patients diagnosed at Stage 4, the most advanced stage, survive over 12 months with mortality rates being 100% within 2 years.
Testing often consists of some or all of the following:
Spirometry (breathing tests)
External scans, such as X-rays, ultrasound, PET, CT or MRI
Internal cameras and scans, usually using a bronchoscope
Biopsy, where a small sample of cells is taken from the lung or nearby lymph node and tested
Some of the above are unpleasant, but a necessary evil if cancer is to be properly diagnosed.
How does negligence occur?
Almost all negligence in respect of cancer is related to misdiagnosis, which in turn leads to delays in treatment and in the case of lung cancer, a much short life expectancy. With around 86% mortality within five years and 91% mortality at the ten year mark, it is routinely a case of prolonging life rather than cure that is the goal, although the remaining 9% can be said to survive usually when the cancer is successfully treated, usually following an early diagnosis.
It is the final sentence of the above paragraph which matters more of all, a combination of an early diagnosis and treatment is the best way to ensure survival and even if the cancer is not wholly removed, the prospects of having a longer, better quality of life are increased by early treatment. So, in such aggressive cancers as lung cancer, any missed opportunity to diagnose the condition, is potentially denying the chance of survival and likely reducing life expectancy significantly.
The first port of call with any symptoms is nearly always your GP, who, whilst not a trained oncologist, is trained to spot the danger signs and to immediately activate the “two week wait” protocol, which is a referral to the nearest hospital with an oncology (cancer) department to have a consultation within 14 days.
At your consultation, you should be properly assessed and routine tests, as listed above, scheduled and performed to identify any potential cancer symptoms or ‘markers’, also known as ‘red flags’. The idea behind this system is that anyone with cancer is diagnosed within a matter of weeks and so can begin, ideally, less drastic or invasive treatment which the cancer is at the earliest stage possible.
Negligence occurs when a medical professional at any stage, misdiagnoses your symptoms as something else and either provides or refers you for the incorrect treatment or simply does not treat you at all. If, because of the act of negligence, your symptoms worsen or your condition is missed entirely, you would then be entitled to make a claim for cancer misdiagnosis personal injury compensation. As with any kind of medical negligence, it is often generally a case of an injury or condition being worsened, or untreated, rather than being caused by the medical practitioner and so, the scope of the claim would depend entirely on the extent to which your condition worsens and your prognosis is less favourable, than if the cancer was diagnosed immediately.
How is lung cancer misdiagnosed?
Returning to the list of symptoms of lung cancer, many of these symptoms could also be attributed to any number of other conditions. Persistent coughs can be caused by irritants, infections or in the case of long-term smokers, a ”smokers’ cough”. Shortness of breath can be caused by allergies, poor fitness or a job which exposes you to poor quality of air. Even coughing blood can be a symptom of a relatively harmless oesophageal tear, something that can happen after choking on food or even, on occasion, coughing too hard. Recurrent chest infections can often come with asthma, lost appetite and weight loss from a variety of causes.
The NHS is estimated to see 1,000,000 patients every 36 hours, the overwhelming majority of these patients are treated successfully, without incident and without any problem whatsoever.
Unfortunately, mistakes do occur, with misdiagnoses and delays in treatment meaning that cancer can go unchecked from anything from a few weeks to years. Mistakes can occur at any stage including:
Referrals not occurring, or not occurring quickly enough, to the correct department
Misdiagnosis of symptoms as another condition
Where tests are incorrectly ordered, meaning the full range of potential conditions is not screened
Results are misread, or misinterpreted
Results are not correctly related to the patient
Administrative errors mean appointments or referrals are lost or not followed up
Treatment is incorrectly prescribed or surgeries improperly carried out
If you believe you have been the victim of medical negligence, please get in touch with MG Legal’s specialist cancer misdiagnosis solicitors for a no-nonsense discussion about how we could help you, all with a view to accepting your claim on a no-win, no fee basis.
How do I know if my doctor has been negligent?
The legal “test” which generally establish is a practitioner has been negligent of not, is the Bolam test, from a High Court case of Bolam v Friern. This case set the standard for practitioners of any kind of medicine that “the medical professional must demonstrate that they acted in a way that a responsible body of medical professionals in the same field would regard as acceptable or reasonable” Quite simply, if most medical professionals would not have acted in certain ways, those ways are most likely negligent.
These facts can only, truly, be confirmed by an expert opinion and here at MG Legal, we source our experts directly, rather than via a medical agency, which means we have a direct line of communication to each expert and can ensure they are the right person for the case. This “hands-on” approach has resulted in a much more flexible and personal manner to communicate with experts, allowing us to better act for each of our clients.
I have suffered medical negligence. How long do I have to make a claim?
Subject to the Limitation Act 1980, you have three years from the date of negligence, or the date you know about the negligence, to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation.
There are exceptions, for those under 18 years old at time of the injury, in that minors have three years from their 18th birthday within which to make a personal injury claim. Time limits may differ if you are acting on behalf of someone with limited mental capacity, if you are acting as guardian or subject a lasting power of attorney. If you have any questions or queries, then please do not hesitate to contact one of MG Legal’s personal injury experts, here…
Who pays my legal fees if I make a lung cancer misdiagnosis personal injury claim?
When you are have suffered an illness or injury as a result of someone else's negligence, then you should not have to pay legal costs, or put up with legal jargon from stuffy solicitors.
You've done nothing wrong, after all, and MG Legal’s expert cancer misdiagnosis personal injury claims solicitors believe that access to justice should not entail up-front costs. So, if you have suffered a personal injury because of mistakes during a GP’s consultation, routine testing or surgical procedure, as a result of someone else’s negligence, and are thinking of making a claim for medical negligence compensation, then contact our medical negligence specialists, for the best legal assistance and advice. We accept all medical misdiagnosis claims on a No Win No Fee Basis.
Why choose MG Legal for my lung cancer misdiagnosis personal injury compensation claim?
At MG Legal, we only employ dedicated personal injury solicitors. And we don't just choose any personal injury solicitors to work with- we choose the best personal injury solicitors so that we can offer our clients the best legal advice and assistance in their time of need. Our medical negligence solicitors are proud to have success rate for winning our clients medical negligence compensation, of above 99%. We think our excellent success rate is testament to the fact that when we take a claim on, we explore every avenue of argument. Get in touch to discuss making a medical misdiagnosis claim, on a No Win No Fee basis, today.