Bowel Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims

According to Bowel Cancer UK, bowel cancer is the second deadliest cancer in the UK claiming more than 16,000 lives a year. Despite its prevalence, bowel cancer can be misdiagnosed or diagnosed late by GPs and other medical professionals.

Early diagnosis and treatment of bowel cancer is crucial to prevent the spread of the disease and improve the chances of making a full recovery. If you experienced negligent medical care associated with the late diagnosis of your bowel cancer, you could be entitled to compensation.

Devonshires Claims’ experienced misdiagnosis solicitors support victims of medical negligence to make a bowel cancer misdiagnosis claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

Reasons to bring a bowel cancer misdiagnosis claim

Bowel cancer negligence claims may be brought against a GP, hospital or other healthcare provider for the:

  • Failure to recognise the symptoms of bowel cancer or make a correct diagnosis
  • Failure to gather an accurate history or to carry out an examination
  • Failure, or a delay, in taking steps to refer you to a specialist or request the appropriate tests
  • Errors in interpreting the findings of the investigations

The compensation payout could provide for:

  • Specialist private surgery or treatment to recover from bowel cancer and the consequences of the cancer
  • Necessary care and assistance
  • Rehabilitation or home adaptations
  • Loss of earnings
  • Expenses (e.g. travel costs)

Bowel cancer is also sometimes called colorectal cancer. It affects the large bowel, which is made up of the colon, rectum and anus.  A late bowel cancer diagnosis could result in the cancer spreading to other organs such as the prostate, womb and small bowel. It could also affect your recovery from the disease.

If your GP, consultant, radiologist or other health care provider failed to diagnose your bowel cancer, you could be entitled to make a medical negligence compensation claim. For more information or to start your free case evaluation, contact our ‘No Win No Fee’ bowel cancer claims experts today on 0333 900 8787, email or complete our online contact form.

Bowel Cancer Misdiagnosis FAQs

The symptoms of bowel cancer can resemble those affecting less severe conditions such as:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Celiac disease
  • Appendicitis
  • Haemorrhoids

Other factors which contribute to the failure to detect bowel cancer are:

1. GP’s often miss the signs of bowel cancer

A study released in the British Journal of Cancer found that 16% of patients who visited their emergency department had seen their GP three times or more without their symptoms being linked to bowel cancer. The study concentrated patients in England who had been diagnosed with bowel cancer between 2005 and 2006 . The study collected data from 200 GPs and 1,606 patients’ surgeries.

2. Bowel cancer symptoms are ignored in younger people

In a study in the scientific journal Gut, Dutch researchers analysed data from 143 million people from 20 European countries, including the UK, Germany, Sweden and France. An increase in the incidence of bowel cancer between 1990 and 2016 in most countries was discovered- with the most significant increase occurring in people in their 20s. The researchers concluded that if the trend continued, bowel cancer screening guidelines may need to be reconsidered.

This trend was confirmed in another study published in the Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.  The study found a 1.8% increase in colon cancer cases and 1.4% rise in rectal cancer cases in people under 50 in the UK between 1995 and 2014. However over the same period, a 1.2% reduction in bowel cancer cases was noted in the over-50s.

Andrew Beggs, a consultant colorectal surgeon from the University of Birmingham, said rising rates of bowel cancer among young patients “must be urgently investigated”.

“This means the age at which bowel cancer screening needs to start may have to change to screen people at a younger age, and people under the age of 50 with any ‘red flag’ symptoms (bleeding, a change in bowel habit, weight loss or tummy pain) should get it checked out as soon as possible,” he said.


Early diagnosis of bowel cancer increases the chances of recovery. To claim negligence, one would need to prove that the delay in diagnosing the bowel cancer adversely affected your health outcome.

Compensation claims may be successful if it can be proven that your doctor or GP’s diagnosis (or misdiagnosis) fell below the standard that is expected of a practitioner with a similar level of knowledge and skill in the field, and resulted in damage to you or a loved one.

To make a compensation claim for bowel cancer misdiagnosis, speak to one of our medical negligence compensation solicitors today. Our team will assess whether the duty of care owed to you was breached, and whether breaching this duty of care caused your injuries.  If so, are likely to have a strong case for compensation.

The ‘limitation’ period to bring a claim for medical negligence is generally three years from the date of negligence or the date of reasonable knowledge of the injury.  This means that if you became aware of the failure to diagnose cancer weeks, months, or even years later, the three-year period could commence from then.  In rare circumstances, the Court may use its discretion to extend the limitation period, but only for exceptional reasons, so it is important to contact us as soon as possible.  The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can begin our investigations and the sooner we can start to assist with your treatment and recovery.


Absolutely!; Devonshires Claims can provide a ‘No Win No Fee’ medical negligence claims service for bowel cancer misdiagnosis compensation claims

Under a  No Win No Fee’ arrangement, which is also known as a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement’ , you will not be charged any costs if your case is not successful*.

If your bowel cancer was misdiagnosed your compensation payout could provide for your:

  • Specialist medical treatment on a private basis
  • Rehabilitation and physiotherapy
  • Medical aids and home adaptations
  • Financial support for the loss of earnings, including future earnings such as pension payments
  • Financial support for the recovery of expenses eg. travel
  • Specialist care and support

The compensation payout for cancer misdiagnosis can only be determined once we understand the full impact of disease and the delay in diagnosis on your life and wellbeing.

Bowel Cancer UK revealed some interesting statistics from the UK:

  • Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK claiming more than 16,000 lives a year, that’s over 44 people every day.
  • Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, after breast, prostate and lung cancers.
  • Every 15 minutes in the UK someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer. That’s over 42,000 people every year. Bowel cancer is more common in the over 50s but it can affect people of all ages. More than 2,500 people under 50 are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK every year.
  • 1 in 15 men and 1 in 18 women will be diagnosed with bowel cancer during their lifetime.

Bowel cancer statistics worldwide:


According to the World Cancer Research Fund:

  • Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide.
  • Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly occurring cancer in men and the second most commonly occurring cancer in women.
  • There were over 1.8 million new cases in 2018. The top 25 countries with the highest rates of colorectal cancer in 2018 are given in the tables below.

As with most cancers, the earlier the diagnosis of bowel cancer is made, the greater the chances of recovery are, so paying attention to potential symptoms is important.

The common symptoms of bowel cancer may include any of the following:

  • Bleeding from your anus or blood in your stool
  • A prolonged (upwards of 3 weeks) changes in your bowel habits
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Nausea and bloating
  • Stomach pain or a protruding lump
  • Regular fatigue

According to research, 15% of rectal cancers and 35% of colon cancers in England were diagnosed upon patients seeking emergency medical attention. Most of these patients did not, however, display the obvious signs of bowel cancer. However, of those diagnosed 23% of rectal cancer patients and 17.5% of colon cancer patients were diagnosed upon observation of ‘red flag’ symptoms.

There is no definitive way of telling whether or not a person will develop bowel cancer, however research has revealed characteristics which may increase the risk of developing bowel cancer. These factors include:

  • Age: 90% of cases are diagnosed in those aged over 60.
  • Consumption of large quantities of red meat and processed meat.
  • Low consumption of fibre
  • Being overweight can also put you at greater risk.
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Those who smoke tobacco and / or have a high alcohol-intake.
  • Those with a family member who contracted the disease before the age of 50 (your GP should offer you a screening if this is the case).
  • Those with pre-existing conditions such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, especially if the condition has presented over 10 years.

Contact our bowel cancer negligence solicitors today

Every 30 minutes someone dies from the disease in the UK. Bowel cancer is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early. Nearly everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage will survive bowel cancer. However this drops significantly as the disease develops. Early diagnosis really does save lives.

GPs and other medical professionals have a duty of care for their patients. If your bowel cancer was not correctly diagnosed and this negligence led to you suffering further harm, you could be entitled to claim compensation.

At Devonshires Claims our highly experienced cancer misdiagnosis solicitors have helped patients throughout the UK obtain compensation which reflected the negligence and provided financial support for medical treatment, specialist care and aids and loss of earnings.

For more information or to start your free case evaluation, contact our experts today on 0333 900 8787, email or complete our online form.

Client Stories

Compensation For the Failure to Diagnose a Brain Tumour: £350K Expected Payout


Legal Action following failure to diagnose a brain tumour.


Currently valued in excess of £350,000.

Compensation For Negligently Performed Hernia Repair Surgery


Legal Action following negligently performed hernia repair resulting in bladder prolapsing into the client’s scrotum.


Currently valued at £250,000

Delayed diagnosis of Crohn’s disease resulted in permanent ileostomy


This was a case of a young woman who had acute presentation of severe Crohn’s disease which was not diagnosed definitively until her late re-representation with life-threatening complications. The delay in diagnosis led to the development of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, a colonoscopy and the client suffering from a permanent ileostomy.


The claim settled for £80,000 during mediation

What our clients say:
My experience working with Devonshires has been a long and amazing journey, 5 yrs+ to be exact. From the very beginning Devonshires have been very accommodating in all that I required, explaining every step and process along the way. whilst also always making me feel at ease. There were never no complaints from my side and I cannot recommend them highly enough. 5* - Ashvin Gadda
From the first point of contact to our last contact, Devonshires always kept me updated, always asked my thoughts and I felt my difficult case was dealt with very professionally hence the results Nick achieved. Of course I would recommend Devonshires to anyone looking for good legal advice in pursuit of their own legal matters. - G.N.
A trouble-free negligence claim and was kept well informed throughout the process. The Solicitor, Katie and her Team were helpful, reply promptly and supportive with any decision making that was required. Would recommend this service to all family and friends. - N.S.

Get in touch

Devonshires Claims
Ground Floor
30 Finsbury Circus
Finsbury, London