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The early detection and treatment of cancer is crucial. Delay or misdiagnosis mean the disease could become incurable or involve more invasive treatment. An incorrect cancer diagnosis or mistakenly being told you are clear, can be equally devastating. In these circumstances, it's possible to bring a compensation claim.
The early diagnosis and treatment of cancer, while not curing it, can often at least prevent it progressing. People who had a belated diagnosis of cancer because x-rays and scans were misread or tissue samples and smears were wrongly interpreted by pathologists or tests were not carried out, may have good reason to make a cancer claim.
Some cancers are caused by exposure to dangerous substances like asbestos in the workplace. Diagnosis is much more difficult since the symptoms of these asbestos-related illnesses may not become apparent until many decades after the initial exposure.
Other types of cancer claim may relate to issues of medication, chemotherapy or incorrect or inappropriate treatment. This is especially true if you were not given sufficient information and warnings about the risks inherent in a therapy and therefore could not give your genuinely informed consent to the treatment.
Equally a misdiagnosis of cancer can mean that people endure unnecessary procedures such as mastectomy and develop severe psychological problem because they believe they are terminally ill.
If you have cancer and mistakes by doctors, radiologists or oncologists caused delays in diagnosis and treatment, shortening your life and diminishing your prospects of survival, you may be able to make a cancer misdiagnosis claim.
If you think your cancer was caused by exposure to a dangerous substance in your workplace Access Legal's industrial disease lawyers can help you with a claim.
How do I make a claim
Bringing a medical negligence claim is complex and demanding and cancer claims are no exception. The first thing to do is to contact a law firm which specialises in these sort of cases.
At such a difficult time in your life, it is important to have experienced and expert professionals fighting your corner. Access Legal’s medical negligence team has handled many cancer cases relating to the misdiagnosis, mistreatment or delayed cancer diagnosis, particularly breast cancer.
Our solicitors are among the most respected and experienced in the UK with good relationships with and access to leading medical experts, whose evidence will be absolutely crucial to the success of your claim. They will also be able to advise you about what help and support may be available.
National charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support can also help with information, grants and more practical assistance and a comprehensive list of support organisations for different types of cancer is given on the website of OSL, a manufacturer of radiology equipment used in the NHS.
The Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) website has a useful tool that will allow you to search for solicitors checked and accredited by this respected independent national charity.
How long will my claim take
These cases may be robustly defended and resolution will depend on how serious your injuries are and whether and how quickly the other party admits liability.
To prove your claim, we will need to obtain evidence from independent medical experts to establish whether there were any negligent failures in the care you received, for example that there was a negligent delay in performing investigations and that if you had receive the appropriate care and treatment that the outcome would have been different. The time taken to obtain this evidence will depend on the complexity of your claim.
In cases of cancers such as mesothelioma contracted at work, fast track procedures are available since the life expectancy of victims of this disease is usually very short following a diagnosis and the commencement of legal action.
Sometimes the other side will dispute our evidence and our valuation so we need to enter into negotiations to reach a satisfactory settlement. These negotiations can take time. Access Legal will always aim to resolve your case without delay, but it will take time to ensure we achieve the best possible outcome for you.
£525,000 award for family of breast cancer victim told to treat a lump in her breast with primrose oil
Mohammed Chaudhry lost his wife Samina aged just 33 after Northampton General Hospital took two years to perform a biopsy of her breast.
At first, doctors insisted that the painful lump on his wife's breast was a skin complaint which should be treated with primrose oil.Read all about how Access Legal helped Mohammed claim for his wives missed cancer diagnosis here.
'You need to have a legal team who are caring, who you absolutely trust and who will tell you the truth. Certainly from our point of view Denise Stephens from Access Legal has been absolutely amazing.'
Access Legal's cancer claims specialists have many years’ experience helping families get compensation in cases involving the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of cancer, particularly breast cancer.Why Access Legal