Blood cancer misdiagnosis: how can I make a successful medical negligence claim?

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Terry Regan

Director and Head of Medical and Clinical Negligence

Published - 09/08/2023

In the UK, there are an average of 9,907 leukaemia cases each year as well as 4,830 deaths as a result of blood cancer. This includes all subtypes of leukaemia. However, some of the most common forms of blood cancer include Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. With such high rates of people suffering and even dying as a result of blood cancer, it is something that needs to be taken extremely seriously.

In this guide, you will find out more about the symptoms of blood cancer, also known as leukaemia, and what it could be misdiagnosed as. You will also learn about the impact that this can have on you and your loved ones' lives as well as how you can go about making a claim as a result of a misdiagnosis.

What are the main symptoms of blood cancer?

Most blood cancers, start in the bone marrow, as abnormal cells grow out of control. There is a wide range of symptoms that you may experience if you have leukaemia, however, some are more common than others. Some of the more prominent symptoms you might encounter include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Bruising and/or bleeding
  • Bone and joint pain

What can leukaemia be misdiagnosed as?

Due to the wide range of symptoms that you could experience as part of having blood cancer, there are also a few other conditions that it can be mistaken for. It is also difficult to diagnose blood cancer based on its first symptoms since these often don’t become prominent until the cancer has progressed. Some of the conditions that blood cancer can be misdiagnosed as due to similar symptoms include:

  • Fever, flu, Covid-19 and other respiratory infections
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome
  • Pathological fracture

If you have blood cancer that was previously diagnosed as another condition, you could be entitled to make a medical negligence claim and retrieve cancer misdiagnosis compensation. Before making any accusations, you should discuss your case with a clinical negligence solicitor today.

What impact can a blood cancer misdiagnosis have?

Cancer misdiagnosis is not something that should be ignored. It can have a huge negative impact on your life if it happens to you and can potentially hinder your quality of life. If you have experienced this, you may recognise some of the consequences of a cancer misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, including the growth and spreading of the cancer or a growth in the cancer's stage which could have been avoided. A misdiagnosis can also result in decreased quality of life and even wrongful death. With such serious consequences, it is important that you get the compensation you deserve.

If you or your loved one has received a misdiagnosis, it is key that you seek out legal advice as soon as possible for the best chance of receiving any sort of compensation.

How is blood cancer misdiagnosed?

As previously mentioned, blood cancer can be difficult to diagnose until it has progressed since many symptoms aren’t noticeable until then. It is also true that a lot of symptoms cross over with other illnesses making it very easy to mistake them for symptoms of another problem. Aside from the difficulty of common symptoms, you may also receive a misdiagnosis as a result of not being referred for further testing by your GP, consultant or surgeon. It could also be that your test results have been read wrong or even that your test results have been recorded incorrectly.

All of these missed opportunities can lead to your cancer diagnosis being delayed, which allows the leukaemia to grow and spread.

How can I make a leukaemia misdiagnosis claim?

The best option for you if you have experienced a misdiagnosis is to make a claim for medical negligence. To do this, you will need to have access to evidence of the wrongdoing. This is likely to include correspondence between medical professionals and the patient, incorrect test results, and proof of diagnosis. The easiest way to make a successful claim is to ensure that you have collected together these pictures and documents as evidence of medical malpractice. Ensuring that you have all of the proof in advance can also help the process to be a lot smoother and faster.

How Wake Smith can help

If you or your loved one has faced a blood cancer misdiagnosis, then the first thing you need to do is seek legal help. Here at Wake Smith, we have the knowledge and experience needed to guide you through the process of making a claim and ensuring that you get the support you deserve after such a difficult experience. We understand how tough the situation can be and therefore can provide the utmost support throughout the whole process.

You can get in touch with us today via our online form for a discreet consultation.

Common Queries

What percentage of cancer patients are misdiagnosed?

The percentage of cancer misdiagnoses is as high as 44% according to the Journal of Clinical Oncology. This is a surprising statistic and one that means you may deserve compensation. If you are one of the many who have experienced misdiagnosis, make sure to contact us today and find out how we can help you to make a claim based on your experience.

How much compensation could I get for cancer misdiagnosis?

A cancer misdiagnosis is a very serious problem and so you may receive a sizable sum in compensation. However, since each case and situation is different, exact amounts can vary. For a better idea of how much you could be entitled to, make sure to get in contact so that we can advise you on your specific situation.

Can leukaemia be mistaken for something else?

Due to overlapping symptoms, leukaemia can be misdiagnosed as other conditions such as fever, flu, Covid-19 and other respiratory infections, a bleeding disorder, autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome, a pathological fracture and more. Since there are so many other conditions that blood cancer can be misdiagnosed as, it is incredibly common for misdiagnoses to be made. To make sure you get the compensation you deserve for this difficult experience, make sure to get in touch with us today so that our expert team can help.

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Bone cancer misdiagnosis: how to make a claim

Skin cancer misdiagnosis: your guide to making a claim

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About the author

Terry Regan

Director and Head of Medical and Clinical Negligence

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