Lung cancer is a big killer in the UK;
- 43,463 Britons were diagnosed with the disease in 2011, and 2012 saw 35,371 deaths from lung cancer in the UK
- 5% of adult lung cancer patients (4% of men and 7% of women) diagnosed in 2010-2011 in England and Wales are predicted to survive ten or more years.
Sadly some of those deaths may been avoidable with the right medical diagnosis and treatment.
There may be a case for medical negligence if a patient is slow to have their lung cancer diagnosed, has their treatment delayed or suffers from mistakes during an operation which not only make the cancer worse, but can lead to a much longer treatment period or may prove fatal.
We can help to explain the process to you and make sure that you completely understand the choices open to you to help with your recovery and get you compensation for medical negligence.
Stages of Lung Cancer
All cancers are classified into four stages. These indicate how far the cancer has progressed, and helps the cancer doctors to decide on the most appropriate course of treatment.
- At Stage 1 lung cancer is small, and is localised in only one area of the lung.
- At Stages 2 and 3, the cancer has grown larger and might have spread into surrounding tissue. There may also be cancer cells present in the lymph nodes. This is known as locally advanced cancer.
- At Stage 4, the cancer has spread into another part of the body. This is metastatic or secondary cancer.
Symptoms of Lung Cancer
In the early stages of the disease, there are not many noticeable symptoms of lung cancer. As the cancer progresses, some of the more common signs are:
- A persistent cough
- Pain when coughing or breathing
- A feeling of breathlessness
- Coughing up blood
- Repeated chest infections
- Loss of appetite
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Unexpected weight loss
Diagnosing Lung Cancer
A lung cancer diagnosis starts first with a GP appointment. The doctor will examine the patient and carry out a test to measure lung function. If he is concerned, the patient will be sent for a blood test and should be referred to a specialist. The patient may then have one or more of the following:
- CT or PET/CT Scan – a full body x-ray scan
- Chest X-Ray
- Biopsy – removal of a small number of cells or tissue for testing
- Bronchoscopy – allows the doctor to see inside the lungs
Delays and Misdiagnosis of Lung Cancer
It’s the job of the medical profession to be able to diagnose and treat lung cancer. However their standard of care might be below standard, and cause the patient more pain or injury. This kind of failure to deal with lung cancer properly can include:
- Delay in ordering a chest x-ray
- Delay in diagnosing lung cancer
- Delay in ordering a biopsy
- Misdiagnosing a chest infection
- Not ordering a CT scan
- Failure to treat the lung cancer
- Failure to carry out the right surgery
- Other failures in lung cancer treatment
If lung cancer is not diagnosed early and is left untreated, this gives the opportunity for the cancer to spread. If a patient has started to experience symptoms, the GP might misdiagnose the illness as bronchitis or something similar. This can delay getting a proper diagnosis and the correct treatment.
Grounds for a medical negligence claim?
If you or a loved one have gone to a doctor with symptoms of lung cancer, have had the condition diagnosed wrongly and this has affected your outcome, then you may have grounds to make a claim for medical negligence and be entitled to compensation. Misdiagnosing the condition completely, or any delays in making the diagnosis can give the cancer time to get worse and spread into other area, and these delays could potentially be lethal.
Delays in getting treatment is a relatively common problem with lung cancer, lung cancer prognosis is often a lot poorer than other types of cancer. It is essential that lung cancer is dealt with quickly. If your treatment has been delayed because of clinical negligence, then you could have grounds for a claim for any harm which has been caused as a result.
Lung cancer survival rates are poor, with only 1 in 3 people diagnosed living for at least 12 months after diagnosis. Only 10% of lung cancer sufferers can expect to live for 5 years or more.
Victim of Delayed Diagnosis Lung Cancer? Thinking of a Compensation Claim? Call us today
Our team of Specialist Medical Negligence Solicitors can help you recover the compensation you are entitled to.
We offer FREE initial phone advice, a FREE first appointment and no win no fee arrangements for medical error claims – so you don’t have to worry about paying legal bills
- Call our team on FREEPHONE 0800 140454 today for a FREE initial phone consultation OR
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