Bowel Cancer Misdiagnosis

Leonie Millard - Play video
Leonie Millard - Play video

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Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK; depending on where the cancer begins it can also be called colon or rectal cancer. Bowel cancer can be difficult to diagnose, as symptoms can be similar to other bowel issues, which are not as serious. However, if your symptoms persist, doctors and other medical professionals have a responsibility to act quickly as a late diagnosis or misdiagnosis can have devastating consequences, which can lead to the cancer being incurable or having to undergo more advanced treatment.

Am I eligible for a bowel cancer misdiagnosis or late diagnosis claim?

To bring a successful compensation claim for delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, there needs to be a breach of the duty of care from a medical professional (whether private or NHS) that has caused harm or loss. This can include:

  • Failing to recognise the symptoms of bowel cancers
  • Incorrectly diagnosing your illness
  • Failure to carry out adequate tests such as scans, X-rays, sigmoidoscopy, blood tests etc
  • Mistakes made by pathologists and radiographers. For example, missing vital signs of cancer while examining tissue under a microscope
  • Failure to refer you for specialist treatment

It may not be possible to claim compensation if a misdiagnosis or late diagnosis made little difference to the outcome. For example, a delay of a few months is unlikely to make much of a difference; however, if the delay or misdiagnosis has led to the cancer spreading, you may have a valid claim for compensation.

Bowel cancer compensation

By its nature bowel cancer can be difficult to diagnose, but if you or any member of your family have suffered from medical negligence in regards to a bowel cancer misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to compensation. At Forbes Solicitors, we have approachable expert solicitors that can help you with your bowel cancer misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis claim. We can also represent families where the sufferer has already passed away. Contact us today; call for free on 0800 037 4625, contact us by email or call any of our branches across the North in Accrington, Blackburn, Chorley, Leeds, Manchester or Preston.

Bowel cancer statistics

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK. According to Cancer Research UK's latest figures from 2014, 41,265 new cases of bowel cancer were diagnosed nationwide. It has a survival rate of 57% for 10 years or more, but the biggest issue with bowel cancer diagnosis is that symptoms can be subtle and are common with other less serious issues. However, the main difference is that bowel cancer symptoms are persistent. The main symptoms are:

  • Persistent blood in stools - which occurs for no obvious reason
  • Persistent change in your bowel habit; for example, going to the loo more often
  • Persistent lower abdominal pain

An estimated 54% of bowel cancers are linked to lifestyle and environmental factors such as being overweight or obese, alcohol consumption, smoking and ionising radiation. Adequate levels of fibre consumption and physical activity can help protect against bowel cancer by 12% and 3% respectively. It is also possible to get bowel cancer from asbestos exposure and certain infections and medical conditions.

Below are some further statistics on bowel cancer:

  • Men are more likely to get bowel cancer than women. In 2014, 22,800 men were diagnosed with bowel cancer and 18,400 cases were found in women
  • The North East has the highest rate of bowel cancer in the UK with 77.65 per 100,000. The North West follows closely behind with 77.51 per 100,000 (2012-2014)
  • Over half of bowel cancer cases in England are diagnosed late (2010-2014)
  • Bowel cancer is more common in males living in deprived areas. There seems to be no association for females
  • The UK incidence rate is the 20th highest in Europe for men and 17th for women

Numbers obtained from the Office of National Statistics and Cancer Research UK

For more information please visit Clinical Negligence Claims

22 Mar 2019

Clinical Negligence


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