Bladder cancer misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis

Bladder cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the UK, with urothelial carcinoma being the most frequent form. Around 20,500 people receive a bladder cancer diagnosis each year, impacting people of all backgrounds and ages.

Older adults, especially those over 75 years of age, are most commonly diagnosed with bladder cancer or develop a bladder tumour, with men being diagnosed more frequently than women. However, in some cases, bladder cancer can be misdiagnosed or there could be a delay in diagnosis, and this can have a range of negative consequences for each patient.

In this guide, we will explore the common symptoms of bladder cancer and how it can be misdiagnosed. We will also look at why you should make a claim in cases of misdiagnosis, or late diagnosis, and outline how Wake Smith could help to ensure you achieve the most positive and fair outcome.

What are the most common symptoms of bladder cancer?

There are some common symptoms of bladder cancer which should be investigated by a medical professional. The most widely noted symptom is the presence of blood in your urine, or an increased and sudden urge to urinate. Urination may also feel uncomfortable, with a feeling of pain or burning. These are early symptoms, and as the cancer advances, symptoms become more varied and pronounced.

If you're suffering from advanced bladder cancer, you will notice symptoms such as losing weight with no explanation, swelling in your feet and other inflammation, and pain in your pelvis. Bone pain may also occur as the cancer progresses.

The early signs of bladder cancer should be acted upon immediately - if you see blood in your urine, then making an appointment with a doctor is essential.

How is bladder cancer misdiagnosed?

Unfortunately, bladder cancer misdiagnosis can occur. This could be due to testing not being carried out, test results being lost, or medical professionals delaying tests that, in turn, slow down appropriate treatment options.

Bladder cancer can sometimes be misdiagnosed as kidney stones or a urinary tract infection (UTI), both of which can cause blood in your urine. You may also be diagnosed with a kidney infection, which can also result in you losing your appetite, abdominal pain, and blood in your urine - much like more advanced bladder cancer.

A doctor might also diagnose you with non-gonococcal urethritis, an infection in your urethra, or an enlarged prostate. In this case, you may even find that testing for prostate cancer is pursued as a priority. Misdiagnosis can happen in both early and more advanced cases of bladder cancer; it is important that you are accurately diagnosed as quickly as possible in order to pursue the best treatment and reduce the spread of the cancer.

If your bladder cancer was recently diagnosed as something else or a less serious condition, you should seek advice from a medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible to make a bladder cancer compensation claim.

Why should you consider making a claim of cancer misdiagnosis?

If you have been misdiagnosed, the impact on your life can be huge. You may have experienced a delay in receiving treatment and your cancer may be more difficult to treat as a result, leading to invasive bladder cancer surgery. As such, seeking a misdiagnosis claim can help you to get justice for such medical negligence. You can receive compensation, including loss of earnings, which could help you to get back to your life more easily.

There are also huge moral and ethical implications for pursuing a cancer misdiagnosis claim, as those who misdiagnosed you will be held accountable for their actions. This could prevent others from experiencing a similar situation. In the worst cases, misdiagnosis can lead to premature death. If your loved one has passed away due to medical negligence, then seeking justice for them can be important for those left behind.

A delayed diagnosis or missed diagnosis is always difficult, and you need the best support when making a claim. Finding a trustworthy and experienced solicitor can help you to pursue your claim and take some of the burden off your shoulders. To find out more about how our medical negligence solicitors can help you, please get in touch with us today.

How Wake Smith can help

If you are looking for a qualified and dedicated medical negligence solicitor to help you with your claim, Wake Smith is here to support you. We have a range of experience in medical and clinical negligence cases, including bladder cancer misdiagnosis and other forms of malpractice. Get in touch with us via our contact form for a no-obligation consultation to see how we could assist you with your medical negligence claim.

Frequently asked questions

Where do you feel pain with bladder cancer?

The first notable pain related to bladder cancer is felt while urinating. As bladder cancer spreads, pain is likely to be felt in the pelvic area or on one side of your lower back.

What are the risk factors of bladder cancer?

Risk factors associated with bladder cancer can include smoking due to the high levels of carcinogens found in tobacco. Being exposed to certain toxic chemicals can also be a risk, as can having a history of chronic bladder issues, such as inflammation or infection.

If you have undergone cancer treatment previously, this may also raise your risk. Advanced age and a family history of bladder or other forms of cancer are other common risk factors.

How do you determine if you have a case for medical malpractice?

To have a case for medical negligence, it is important to gather any evidence (emails, letters and test results) which show that a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis occurred. You should also be able to show that this medical negligence has had a negative impact on your condition, whether physically, mentally and/or financially.

How much can you claim for cancer misdiagnosis in the UK?

The amount that you can claim for cancer misdiagnosis is highly dependent on the nature of the clinical negligence and the outcome caused by this. Some claims can total six figures, while others can be considerably lower.

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