Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims

If your lung cancer symptoms were overlooked, or there was a significant delay in diagnosing your lung cancer, you may be entitled to make a lung cancer misdiagnosis claim.

GPs, consultants, radiologists and other medical specialists are trained to recognise the symptoms which may indicate lung cancer. If your doctor or specialist was negligent and failed to investigate potential lung cancer symptoms, correctly interpret your medical results or scans, or did not refer you to a specialist in time, you could have a claim for compensation.

With lung cancer, any delay in treatment or mistakes in diagnosis can put the patient at risk and dramatically impact their recovery from the disease. Therefore early diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer is critical in order to prevent the spread of the disease and improve response to treatment.

Making a Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim

Lung cancer negligence claims may be brought against a GP, consultant, radiologist, hospital or other health care provider for the following:

  • Failure to recognise the symptoms of lung cancer, or make a correct diagnosis
  • Failure to perform an adequate examination or gather accurate symptom history
  • Failure to record an accurate medical history
  • Mistakes made in the classification of lung cancer type and stage
  • Failure to properly interpret investigations eg. radiographs, CT Scans
  • Failure to refer a patient for further testing and investigation
  • Delay in diagnosis that caused your disease to worsen
  • Incorrectly attributing lung cancer symptoms to another condition

 The misdiagnosis claim for compensation could provide for:

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

Contact our cancer misdiagnosis experts

It is important that lung cancer is diagnosed and treated early as the cancer could spread to the other lung, or to other organs and throughout the body.  Delays in treatment could also affect your recovery from the disease.

A lung cancer misdiagnosis can be potentially fatal, therefore it is vital that any errors by healthcare practitioners are highlighted and investigated, so the same mistakes do not happen again.

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

If your GP, consultant, radiologist or other health care provider failed to diagnose your lung 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’ cancer misdiagnosis solicitors today on 0333 900 8787, email or complete our online form.

Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis FAQs

Because many of the early symptoms of lung cancer (eg. continuous cough, shortness of breath) are common to many conditions, lung cancer is often misdiagnosed as:

  1. Pneumonia
  2. Asthma
  3. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  4. Acid reflux
  5. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  6. Encysted lung effusion
  7. Lung abscesses
  8. Lung nodules
  9. Lymphoma
  10. Thoracic Hodgkin’s disease
  11. Pulmonary embolism
  12. Tuberculosis


Mistakes in the diagnosis of lung cancer can be made by a GP, consultant or another healthcare provider. In a 2017 study, it was noted that errors in the diagnosis of lung cancer on chest radiographs were commonly made by radiologists.

According to the study:

“It may be challenging for radiologists to distinguish a lung lesion from bones, pulmonary vessels, mediastinal structures, and other complex anatomical structures on chest radiographs. Nevertheless, lung cancer can also be overlooked on computed tomography (CT) scans, regardless of the context, either if a clinical or radiologic suspect exists or for other reasons. Awareness of the possible causes of overlooking a pulmonary lesion can give radiologists a chance to reduce the occurrence of this eventuality. Various factors contribute to a misdiagnosis of lung cancer on chest radiographs and on CT, often very similar in nature to each other. Observer error is the most significant one and comprises scanning error, recognition error, decision-making error, and satisfaction of search”.


Source of diagnosis

According to Cancer Research UK most lung cancer cases are diagnosed by an A & E department, following by a visit to a GP.

“’Emergency presentation’ is the most common route to diagnosing lung cancer.

“GP referral is the route with the highest proportion of cases diagnosed at an early stage, for lung cancer.”


Investigative approach

To determine whether a patient could be suffering with lung cancer the following steps should be taken:

  • A GP should note the symptoms and perform a full examination.
  • A spirometer should be used to assess the function of the lungs
  • Blood tests should be performed to rule out other causes
  • You should then be referred to a specialist or hospital for further evaluation.

A number of additional diagnostic procedures will be performed at the hospital, which include

  • Chest x-rays
  • Sputum Cytology (sampling and examination of phlegm)
  • A bronchoscopy
  • An ultrasound
  • Tissues samples / biopsy

A diagnosis of cancer or other condition should be made at this stage. If you do have cancer, further tests will be needed to establish what type and what stage of cancer you have.

Guidance on Lung Cancer Diagnosis Issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in March 2019

The aim of this guidance by NICE was to improve lung cancer diagnosis and improve the effectiveness of testing and treatment options.

The NICE guidelines highlighted the importance of early diagnosis and more public awareness of the symptoms:

“The public needs to be better informed of the symptoms and signs that are characteristic of lung cancer, through coordinated campaigning to raise awareness.”



Early diagnosis of lung cancer increases the chances of recovery.

Compensation claims may be successful if it can be proven that your GP’s,  consultants or radiographers’ diagnosis (or misdiagnosis) of lung cancer fell below the standard that is expected of a practitioner with a similar level of knowledge and skill in the field.

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 now and avoid any delay.  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’ claims service for lung 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 lung 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; and
  • 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.


According to details published by the NHS:

There are often no signs or symptoms in the very early stages. As the condition progresses, symptoms can develop.

The main symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • cough that doesn’t go away after 2 or 3 weeks
  • a long-standing cough that gets worse
  • chest infections that keep coming back
  • coughing up blood
  • an ache or pain when breathing or coughing
  • persistent breathlessness
  • persistent tiredness or lack of energy
  • loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss

If you have any of these, you should see a GP.

Less common symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • changes in the appearance of your fingers, such as becoming more curved or their ends becoming larger (this is known as finger clubbing)
  • difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) or pain when swallowing
  • wheezing
  • a hoarse voice
  • swelling of your face or neck
  • persistent chest or shoulder pain


Between 2015-2017 there were:

  • 47,838 new cases of lung cancer and
  • 35,349 deaths

An estimated 79% of lung cancer cases are preventable.

Lung cancer Incidence

  • There are around 47,800 new lung cancer cases in the UK every year, that’s around 130 every day (2015-2017).
  • Lung cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 13% of all new cancer cases (2017).
  • In females in the UK, lung cancer is the 2nd most common cancer, with around 23,100 new cases in 2017.
  • In males in the UK, lung cancer is the 2nd most common cancer, with around 24,900 new cases in 2017.
  • Incidence rates for lung cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 85 to 89 (2015-2017).
  • Each year more than 4 in 10 (44%) of all new lung cancer cases in the UK are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over (2015-2017).


Lung cancer mortality

  • There are around 35,300 lung cancer deaths in the UK every year, that’s 97 every day (2015-2017).
  • Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for 21% of all cancer deaths (2017).
  • In females in the UK, lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death, with around 16,300 deaths in 2017.
  • In males in the UK, lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death, with around 18,800 deaths in 2017.
  • Mortality rates for lung cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 85 to 89 (2015-2017).




Word Statistics on Lung Cancer

According to research published by the World Cancer Research Fund, the top 25 countries with the highest incidence of lung cancer in 2018 are given in the tables below:

Lung cancer rates: both sexes

Hungary had the highest rate of lung cancer in 2018, followed by Serbia.

Rank Country Age-standardised rate per 100,000
1 Hungary 56.7
2 Serbia 49.8
3 New Caledonia (France) 42.3
4 Greece 40.5
5 French Polynesia 39.8
6 Montenegro 39.7
7 Belgium 39.0
8 Guam 37.9
9 Turkey 36.9
10 Denmark 36.6
11 Poland 36.5
12 North Korea 36.2
13= Bosnia & Herzegovina 36.1
13= France (metropolitan) 36.1
15 Samoa 35.4
16= China 35.1
16= US 35.1
18 Macedonia 34.1
19= Germany 33.7
19= Ireland 33.7
21 Netherlands 33.3
22 Slovenia 32.9
23 Croatia 32.5
24 UK 32.5
25 Slovakia 31.2



Contact our misdiagnosis solicitors today

GPs and other medical professionals have a duty of care for their patients. If your lung 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 England and Wales 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 contact form.

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£2 million made up of compensation for the injury, past and future loss of earnings, care and equipment, treatment and the additional cost of suitable housing.

What our clients say:
My experience with them was very great and they were helpful and made it possible for me to understand all the details easily. - A.A.
I found Devonshires responsive and accommodating on both counts. Alongside trying to make sure the client gets the right result, they provide the necessary level of support throughout the process and, in my experience, the advice is timely and responsive. I would like to thank the team for all the effort everyone put in and for achieving a great result for me and my family. - J.P.
My personal experience of working with Devonshires has been a positive one. I feel my solicitor did her very best to achieve a positive outcome for my case. A Clinical Negligence case is long, stressful and emotional and can have its complications but throughout this process my solicitors approach was kind caring and understanding while doing her best to extract vital information from me needed to support my case. - Emma Bates

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