Medical Negligence
By Conal McGarrity
Latest News

What You Need To Know About Cancer Misdiagnosis

Statistics suggest one in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives and unfortunately this disease remains one of the greatest causes of mortality in the developed world.

There have been improvements made over the past decade in the treatment of many forms of cancer which have resulted in a significant improvement to patient outcomes. Therefore, in many cases if the diagnosis is made early enough and the correct treatment is administered in time, this can result in a complete cure or prolongation of life.

However, many cases of cancer involve incorrect or delayed diagnosis and thus a delayed treatment. As a result, survival has been worsened and/or more radical invasive treatment has become necessary. Some examples of negligence include, but are not limited to:

  • Failure to carry out appropriate tests/scans

  • Failure to properly analyse test results

  • Misinterpretation of results

  • Errors in medication and dosage

Ms Purvis’ Case

Beth Purvis was diagnosed with bowel cancer after going to A&E in 2016, two years after her symptoms were written off as IBS. In 2014 Ms Purvis visited her GP after noticing changes in her bowel movements and rectal bleeding. Her GP dismissed these symptoms as IBS and told her that unless her symptoms became debilitating there was no treatment they could offer. Unfortunately, referral to a specialist nor tests were ever mentioned.

In 2016, Ms Purvis attended A&E with what she thought to be rectal prolapse. However, after relevant tests were carried out, she was diagnosed with bowel cancer. The affected section of Ms Purvis’ bowel was removed, and she also underwent 12 rounds of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, in 2017 further tests showed that the cancer had spread. It was then discovered that she had 10 nodules across both lungs and whilst the nodules have been cleared, the doctors have informed Ms Purvis that they expect the cancer to return. As a result, Ms Purvis is undergoing regular check-ups.

Unfortunately, Beth Purvis is one of the many patients whose symptoms were misdiagnosed and only picked up much later.

Similarly, St Columcille’s Hospital in Loughlinstown, Ireland have requested 65 patients to return for a repeat colonoscopy. This was ordered after it was discovered that between November 2017 and April 2018 65 patients received incomplete colonoscopies. Colonoscopies are often used detect bowel cancer or colon polyps, which are growths on the lining of the colon that can sometimes be cancerous or may grow to be cancerous.

Expert Medical Negligence at PA Duffy Solicitors

At P.A.Duffy and Company our expert Medical Negligence solicitors can advise on the most appropriate approach to take if you suspect you have been a victim of a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis. Our medical negligence department is vastly experienced in such matters and we have your best interest at heart. We appreciate that this can be an overwhelming and stressful time for you and your family. It is a process that can take a long time, but our expertise and sensitivity allow us to advise you through every step of the process ensuring you are fully aware of what is happening whilst providing you with professional advice.

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