How to Claim for a Delay in the Diagnosis of Cancer

Posted on: 5 mins read
Share Article:

This article was updated on 25 January 2023.

Symptoms of cancer appear over a period of time and when the diagnosis is eventually reached, it’s often questioned whether there was a delay in reaching diagnosis.

If you feel there was a delay in your cancer diagnosis or your cancer was misdiagnosed, contact our Medical Negligence Solicitors for free legal advice. Ask if we can deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.

Why Cancer Diagnosis Delays Can Happen

There are several reasons why a delay in cancer diagnosis might happen, such as:

  • Cancer symptoms being misdiagnosed, leading to the wrong medical treatment;
  • Failure or delay in referring a patient for further investigations;
  • Failure to carry out appropriate tests, scans or take appropriate tissue samples;
  • Incorrect reporting of x-rays, scans or tissue samples;
  • Failing to monitor treatment.
TrustpilotStarsWe're ratedExcellent

Consequences of Late Cancer Diagnosis

In most cases, the earlier cancer can be combatted, the better the prognosis is likely to be. A delay in diagnosis may mean:

  • The cancer is diagnosed when it is at a more advanced stage;
  • The cancer has spread to other parts of the body;
  • More aggressive treatment is required by way of surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy;
  • Treatment may leave life changing injuries;
  • There is an increased likelihood of the cancer returning;
  • There is an increased likelihood of the cancer spreading;
  • An impact on life expectancy.

What Can You Claim For?

If our Medical Negligence Solicitors can prove that the delay in diagnosis was a breach of duty of care and this has caused additional injury, then you may be entitled to compensation.

You can make a claim against both the NHS and private healthcare providers.

It’s possible to claim compensation for the additional treatment you needed, and any avoidable injuries or conditions you suffered as a result of the delay in diagnosis. This may include compensation for:

  • Additional pain and suffering;
  • Psychological harm;
  • Any financial losses incurred, such as loss of earnings or travel expenses;
  • Additional care and assistance you needed;
  • Any ongoing financial losses, including a future loss of earnings;
  • Future treatment on a private basis;
  • Adaptions you’ve made, or need to make to your home.

How to Prove a Delayed Diagnosis Case

In order to make a successful medical negligence claim, it must be established that your care was below the standard expected of a doctor or medical professional. It must be able to be proven that your advanced cancer symptoms were the result of medical negligence. If these failures were avoided, they would have led to an earlier diagnosis.

There may be cases where despite symptoms of cancer, the care provided was entirely reasonable, particularly in rare types of cancer that can appear to be other conditions.

To be successful in a claim, it must be proven that the delay caused an injury or condition which would otherwise have been avoided. The period of delay is important. In some cases, a very short delay may have made no difference to the diagnosis, treatment or outcome. In others, the consequences can be devastating.

When making a claim for a delay in diagnosis of cancer, it’s important for your Medical Negligence Solicitor to consider what your diagnosis, treatment and outcome would have been with correct, timely diagnosis. They compare this to the reality of your diagnosis, treatment and outcome, as a result of the delay. You can claim compensation for the difference between the two scenarios.

Our clients rate us asExcellentStars4.5 out of 5 based off 2452 reviewsTrustpilot

Premature Death of a Loved One

Sometimes a delay in diagnosis results in the premature death of your partner or family member. lt may also be possible to claim a bereavement award if this happened to you. This could also include funeral expenses and a financial or services dependency claim.

While we can’t turn the clock back and change the outcome, our specialist Solicitors can help provide financial compensation to allow life to be more comfortable going forward.

How Long Do I Have To Make A Delayed Cancer Diagnosis Claim?

If the case cannot be settled, usually you’ll have three years from the date of the negligence to issue your claim in court. This can vary depending on specific circumstances or death.

How Do I Make a Claim for a Delay in Cancer Diagnosis?

Our specialist lawyers have years of experience across a diverse range of cancer types and different types of medical negligence claims. This means we can provide our expertise while tailoring our service to meet your specific situation. You can read more about how the claims process works, and how we support you throughout.

If you believe you or a loved one has a claim for a delay in diagnosis of cancer, get in touch with one of our Medical Negligence Solicitors to find out how we can help you. If you’re not sure whether or not you’d have a strong claim, we offer a Free Claims Assessment where we can give you our expert advice.

Impact of COVID-19 on the diagnosis of cancer

If you were diagnosed with cancer during or following the COVID-19 pandemic, you might wonder if you can claim for any delays that resulted due to COVID-19 specific factors.

The pandemic had a huge impact on the provision of many healthcare services, such as waiting times for appointments, scans and treatments. There has been specific concern over the delays and impact COVID-19 had upon many cancer diagnosis cases.

Cancer Research UK estimates that around 27,500 fewer people were diagnosed with cancer in 2020 compared to previous years. Shockingly they suggest around 72% of these missed diagnoses were early-stage cancer cases.

We’re still trying to understand the long-term effects of COVID-19 on cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, waiting times for people affected by cancer are the worst on record because of the current NHS crises, which have been accelerated by the pandemic.

This is a complex issue, as the disruption COVID-19 had was unprecedented. Many of the resulting pressures on the healthcare system could be seen as unavoidable. It may be harder to go down the usual medical negligence claim routes. This is because it is more challenging to compare the reality of your diagnosis, treatment and complications, with what could have happened in a “normal” scenario, as COVID created such an exceptional situation.

You might believe you, or your loved one, should have been considered high priority with a high chance of cure, and believe the care you received fell short of that. You may also have had symptoms of cancer, such as Lung Cancer, which were misdiagnosed after being wrongly attributed to COVID-19 symptoms.

Get in touch with our Medical Negligence Solicitors, and we’ll find out about your situation and provide guidance on whether we think you could make a claim.

Get in touch, today!

Fill in the form below to get in touch with one of our dedicated team members, or call our team today on: 0808 239 6043

This data will only be used by Simpson Millar in accordance with our Privacy Policy for processing your query and for no other purpose