Lung cancer misdiagnosis: how can I make a claim?

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Terry Regan

Director and Head of Medical and Clinical Negligence

When you or a loved one is diagnosed with lung cancer, it can be a difficult period of time. Misdiagnosis and late diagnosis can be even more challenging, and it is more common than you may think. According to Cancer Research UK, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the UK, but it is also one of the most treatable cancers. 79% of lung cancer cases are preventable. But when people are misdiagnosed, there can be many consequences.

In this guide, we look at the signs and symptoms of lung cancer and what cancer patients can do if they have been misdiagnosed.

What are the signs and symptoms of lung cancer

The most common sign of lung cancer is a persistent cough that doesn't go away after three weeks, according to the NHS. Other signs include coughing up blood, shortness of breath, and chest pain. However, these symptoms can also be caused by less serious conditions, so it is important to see your doctor if you have them.

Breathlessness is also often one of the first signs that something is wrong. If you have constant shortness of breath when you are resting or doing simple activities like walking upstairs or going for a walk, this could be a sign that something isn't right with your lungs. Another common symptom is recurrent chest infections in a short period. Anything out of the ordinary for you should be checked by a medical professional as soon as possible.

What is lung cancer commonly misdiagnosed as?

Lung cancer is commonly misdiagnosed as other conditions, including asthma and gastric reflux disease. The symptoms of lung cancer can be difficult to distinguish from those of other diseases. The most common misdiagnoses include acid reflux and lung abscesses, though it is also commonly misdiagnosed as pneumonia or bronchitis. It is important to get the right diagnosis as soon as possible to treat your symptoms.

If you are still unsure or worried, you should be persistent. Ask your doctor to explain the results in more detail, and get second opinions from other medical professionals. If you have recently been diagnosed with lung cancer after previously being misdiagnosed with another condition, you should get in touch with our medical negligence solicitors today.

What are the consequences of lung cancer misdiagnosis?

Early diagnosis is critical in lung cancer cases, and the sooner you are diagnosed, the better your chances of survival. However, sometimes doctors will misdiagnose lung cancer, which can lead to an incorrect treatment plan and a lower chance of survival. The consequences of lung cancer misdiagnosis are severe and can result in cancer spreading to other organs, leading to serious infections, aggressive cancer treatment, further surgery, and even death.

Who is responsible for lung cancer misdiagnosis?

Symptoms of lung cancer can be missed by GPs, surgeons and clinicians. The symptoms are often generalised and similar to those found in other diseases. Responsibility for lung cancer misdiagnosis and a delayed cancer diagnosis can fall into one of three categories: the misreading of test results, misdiagnosing cancer as something else, and long waiting times to be seen by a professional.

Doctors can easily misinterpret results, especially if using poor-quality equipment or having a lack of training in reading certain types of tests. Symptoms are also commonly misdiagnosed as something else due to many other illnesses having similar symptoms.

If your lung cancer symptoms have recently been diagnosed as another illness, you can contact our medical negligence solicitors here to request a consultation. You can also attempt to make a claim on behalf of someone else who has either died of their illness or does not have to mental capacity to do so themselves.

How do I make a medical negligence claim for lung cancer?

If you have been misdiagnosed with lung cancer, you may be able to claim medical negligence. To make your claim, you will need to gather evidence such as test results and appointments you have attended. You should also keep any letters or emails from your doctor and hospital. This will help support any future claim for medical negligence against the hospital or doctor involved in your care.

When considering whether or not to claim medical negligence, it is important to seek legal advice before making any verbal or written claims of negligence. If you do not understand the process and how best to go about seeking compensation for your injury, it is advised that you seek legal advice before taking any action. You should then contact a medical negligence solicitor who will advise you on the next steps in making your claim.

How Wake Smith can help

If you have been misdiagnosed with lung cancer and need help claiming compensation, our clinical negligence solicitors at Wake Smith can help. We can help you navigate the process of claiming so that you can focus on getting better and moving forward with your life. We know how stressful the thought of medical and clinical negligence can be, so we can help you every step of the way.

Our experienced team of lawyers will work with you to understand the details of your case and ensure that it is handled appropriately. With our support and expertise, we can make sure that your claim is successful and that you receive compensation for any losses incurred during this stressful time. To get in touch concerning cancer misdiagnosis compensation, please fill out our online form here.

Common queries

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

If you have been misdiagnosed with lung cancer in the United Kingdom, it may be possible to make a compensation claim. There is no set amount that you can claim for cancer misdiagnosis in the United Kingdom. Instead, your compensation will depend on several factors, including:

  • The seriousness of the disease and how far advanced it has progressed when diagnosed
  • How long it took for it to be diagnosed correctly
  • The age of the patient at diagnosis

What is the timeline for cancer misdiagnosis claims?

The timeline for a cancer misdiagnosis claim is dependent on the diagnosis. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with lung cancer and later found to have been misdiagnosed, it is important to know what steps you can take to seek compensation.

When claiming for lung cancer misdiagnosis, it is beneficial to understand the timeline of how long it takes to process the claim and receive compensation. Depending on whether the patient has already passed away or not, the claim may be processed more quickly than others.

Who is eligible to claim compensation for lung cancer misdiagnosis?

The following people may be eligible to make a claim:

  • Individuals who were diagnosed with lung cancer as a result of misdiagnosis
  • Individuals who received incorrect information about their lung cancer diagnosis
  • Individuals who received incorrect information about their prognosis due to misdiagnosis

It is best to speak to us to see if you can claim for cancer misdiagnosis compensation for yourself or a loved one. Contact our team today to make your misdiagnosed cancer claim.

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About the author

Director and Head of Medical and Clinical Negligence

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