It has recently been reported the numbers dying from cancer have been above the five year norm.  There can be no doubt the pandemic has played its part in this.

Advances are being made in both diagnosis and treatment.  Although people are more aware that early detection of cancer makes it easier to treat, such as through the “Be Clear on Cancer” campaign, there are still those who are reluctant to go to the doctor for fear that they may be wasting the doctor’s time.  Also, during the pandemic, many would have feared being a burden on the NHS or found they were unable to access services when the attention was turned to Covid. 


Many cancers are not diagnosed in their early stages.  In some cases, it may be due to there being another explanation for the symptoms experienced.

Another reason why there may be a late diagnosis of cancer is that in some cases there may have been no symptoms in the earlier stages of the disease.  It is often only after the cancer has spread into other organs or lymph nodes that the doctor is contacted. 

There are more than 200 different types of cancer.  Some are rarer and therefore they are not picked up sooner.  At the time of diagnosis, some cancers are aggressive and therefore it may not have made any difference to the outcome even if diagnosed sooner. 

The good news is that for those who are diagnosed sooner, many cancers, due to the advances in treatment, result in longer survival rates.

Late and misdiagnosis of cancer

Many of the cases I have dealt with have resulted from failure to read results, failure to report an incidental finding of a tumour whilst undergoing other investigations or the results being wrongly reported as requiring no further action.

I have had two recent cases where the Hospital admitted the failure to diagnose sooner and settled both claims amicably. In the first case client had a scan which diagnosed lung cancer. The same scan also detected an abnormality in his bowel, but no action was taken. He underwent successful treatment for the lung cancer. About 3 years after the treatment, his GP referred him back to the same Hospital with suspected recurrence of the lung cancer. The further scan reported the bowel cancer and treatment commenced. Had the bowel cancer been treated sooner, client would have avoided the need for chemotherapy, and the side effects caused by the same. In the second case client had annual check-ups for 2 years, following successful treatment for bowel cancer. The scans had shown a lung nodule. However, the last scan report failed to mention that the nodule had grown significantly. About 4 years after the last scan client went to his GP with unexplained weight loss.  His GP referred him back to the same Hospital. The scan showed the lung nodule had grown into mass and had spread to his bowel. The tumour was inoperable.

How can we help?

How can we help?

Late or misdiagnosis can have devastating effects on you and your family. Our professional and sympathetic team will ensure you get the advice, help and compensation that you deserve.

If you believe you may have a claim for compensation, contact us today on 0333 444 4422 or fill in an online enquiry form and a member of the team will be in touch. 

Call: 0333 444 4422