Misdiagnosis Of Cancer

In the UK there have been vast improvements to medical treatments of all kinds; but particular with Cancer treatments and services to support cancer patients.

Unfortunately there are still times when errors do occur, in particular there are issues with people being misdiagnosed with Cancer.

What is misdiagnosis of Cancer?

There are commonly two situations:

  1. Firstly, you are misdiagnosed with cancer when in fact you are not a cancer sufferer, this will cause unneeded stress and anxiety, and possible unnecessary treatments or delays to the correct treatment needed.
  2. Or secondly, where you are not diagnosed and given a negative result following tests. In these circumstances the cancer will be left to grow in the body and remain untreated. It would also be possible in this case that by the time the cancer is eventually discovered, the chance to treat the cancer is lost.

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How long before misdiagnosis starts to cause adverse effects?

This will of course greatly depend upon the type of cancer you are suffering from and how aggressive it is. However, as a rule of thumb we would state that it will be a matter of months rather than days and weeks from when the Doctor should have made the diagnosis or believe that there was a possibility that cancer was present.

The test for compensation relies on the balance of probabilities as to what would or could have been done differently if the doctor had made an earlier diagnosis, and whether earlier treatment or intervention could have made a difference to the sufferers outcome.

What do you need to prove?

In your case it will be necessary for you to prove that the fact that the diagnosis was incorrectly given at an early stage has caused an unfavourable outcome. It is not possible just to show that there has been an increase in the chance of the unfavourable outcome but must be shown that it has definitely caused the unfavourable outcome. Unfortunately, any cancer diagnosis can have devastating effects, no matter when it is diagnosed.

If you would like to have a chat about your options or how we may be able to help you please contact a member of the team, complete our call back form or contact us directly at your local office.

Your Personal Injury Team

Ruth Markham


Ruth is a former member of the Bar Council before cross qualifying as a solicitor. She joined BHP Law in March 2014 as an associate and was made head…

Tracy Farman


In January 2022 Tracy Farman joined BHP Law’s Personal Injury and Medical Negligence department, in Durham, after working for a solicitors practice…

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