Some of the most common symptoms of pancreatic cancer include:
- feeling tired or having a lack of energy for a prolonged amount of time;
- the whites of your eyes or skin turning yellow;
- itchy skin;
- a high temperature;
- digestion problems.
A cancer diagnosis can be devasting, but if you’ve been misdiagnosed or received a diagnosis later than you should have, the effects can be made even worse.
In the UK, 3 in 5 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at stage 3 and 4 of the disease developing. This is especially concerning as the later pancreatic cancer is diagnosed, the less effective the available treatment becomes.
There are unfortunately many reasons why a pancreatic cancer diagnosis could be delayed or why an incorrect diagnosis could be given by a medical professional, including:
If you’ve developed any of these symptoms, it’s important that you visit your GP and share your concerns. It may be that your symptoms are linked to an inflammatory bowel disease such as pancreatitis rather than pancreatic cancer, but your doctor should carry out blood and urine tests to confirm this.
If they think your condition needs to be investigated further, your doctor should refer you to see a specialist in hospital for additional tests. If they fail to do this, it could lead to your condition worsening and treatment becoming less effective.
As with most cancer diagnoses, the earlier treatment can begin, the more successful the outcome will be in terms of how long you’re able to live with your diagnosis.
When a diagnosis is delayed, the process for accessing surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy is also slowed down. In the UK, 7 in 10 people with pancreatic cancer will not receive any active treatment. This is largely due to the fact that most people are diagnosed at a late stage when treatment may no longer have its intended effect.
As well as impacting survival rates, misdiagnosis or late diagnosis can also result in symptoms worsening and affecting a patient’s immediate quality of life.
In the worst cases, when a diagnosis isn’t given for pancreatic cancer, or someone is misdiagnosed, their condition can manifest into diabetes, indigestion and unexplained blood clots.
If you’ve been misdiagnosed or received a late diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, and your condition has worsened as a result, you could be entitled to support and compensation.
If you’ve been affected by a delayed or inaccurate diagnosis, making a claim for compensation may not be the first thing on your mind. This is completely understandable.
Our Medical Negligence Lawyers know that the thought of taking legal action can feel daunting, especially at such a difficult time. But whilst compensation won’t make up for what you’ve been through, it could help to give you a sense of justice and provide you with access to essential medical treatment.
It’s possible to make a cancer misdiagnosis claim against both private and NHS medical healthcare providers. If you were treated by the NHS, our Medical Negligence Lawyers could also help you make a formal complaint. Many people find this process reassuring as it ensures that lessons will be learnt from the mistakes made.
We offer a free no-obligation claims assessment, where we’ll listen to the details of what happened to you and let you know if we think you have a strong case. Get in touch with our expert Medical Negligence team to find out how we could help you.
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Cancer can be very treatable if caught early, but any delay in diagnosis can mean the cancer has had time to progress and spread to other parts of the body.
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