Ovarian Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims

According to figures published by Cancer Research UK Over 4,000 women lose their lives each year to ovarian cancer.

When a woman is diagnosed early her chance of surviving ovarian cancer significantly increases. However if the ovarian cancer is misdiagnosed the consequences could be devastating. If you believe that your ovarian cancer was diagnosed late, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim for medical negligence.

Unfortunately many GPs and other health professionals miss the signs of ovarian cancer, and this negligence leads to a delay in diagnosing the disease.  According to a study published in 2016:

  • 44% of GPs mistakenly believe symptoms only present in the later stages of ovarian cancer 
  • 41% of women must wait three months or more from first visiting their GP to getting a correct diagnosis.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer that was misdiagnosed or diagnosed late by your GP, specialist or other health care provider, you may be entitled to compensation to reflect the harm that you suffered, the further treatment required and the impact on your future income.

For more information on ovarian misdiagnosis claims or to start your free case evaluation contact Devonshires Claims ‘No Win No Fee’ cancer misdiagnosis solicitors today on 0333 577 9444, email cn@devonshires.co.uk or complete our online form.

Claiming compensation for the late diagnosis of ovarian cancer

If ovarian cancer is diagnosed at the earliest stage (Stage I), up to 90 per cent of women will survive five years or more. Unfortunately, almost two thirds of women are diagnosed once the cancer has already spread to advanced Stages II-IV.

Delays in the diagnosis of ovarian cancer are often the result of medical negligence. Examples of this negligence include:

  • A GP or specialist not recognising the symptoms of ovarian cancer and failing to request further diagnostic tests such as blood count, x-rays, pelvic ultrasound and an abdominal/pelvic CT scan or serum levels of CA-125.
  • A GP may fail to refer you to a specialist.
  • A doctor could fail to follow up on an abnormal test result.
  • A test might not be correctly reported to a doctor or to the patient.
  • The symptoms of ovarian cancer being misdiagnosed or mistaken for another condition such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), urinary tract infection (UTI), diverticulitis or changing menopausal status.

The compensation payout could provide for:

  • Specialist private surgery or treatment to help your recovery from ovarian cancer and the consequences of the cancer
  • Rehabilitation or home adaptations
  • Loss of earnings
  • Expenses (e.g. travel costs)

For more information on making a compensation claim for the late diagnosis of ovarian cancer, contact Devonshires Claims experienced medical negligence solicitors today. We provide a free case evaluation and a No Win No Fee agreement. Contact our experts today on  0333 577 9444, email cn@devonshires.co.uk or complete our online form.

Read our FAQs

Ovarian cancer is the fourth leading cause of death (cancer related) in women, after breast, lung and bowel cancer. Over 7,000 women are diagnosed with the disease each year in the UK.

The ovaries are small organs located on either side of the uterus. In women of child-bearing age, the ovaries produce an egg every month that is either fertilized or removed from the body via the menstrual cycle. Aside from this important job, these organs also produce and regulate the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

As with any other organ, ovaries are susceptible to various types of cancers, the most common being epithelial ovarian cancer. Many of these cancers have a genetic component, so it’s worth noting that women with family members who have had breast cancer or ovarian cancer are more at risk.

Most women diagnosed with this condition are over 45 and have been through the menopause. Unfortunately, most of these diagnoses come in the later stages of the cancer’s development, when it has already spread to other parts of the body. However, if the cancer is caught in the early stages, it can usually be treated quite successfully. If diagnosed at the earliest stage, up to 90 per cent of women would survive five years or more.

 England has the lowest survival rate for ovarian cancer in Europe.

  1. Symptoms are mistakenly or negligently associated with other conditions

Many symptoms of ovarian cancer are often associated with menopausal bleeding or a digestive condition.  Therefore women presenting with these symptoms often receive a diagnosis of:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Diverticulitis
  • Menopause related
  1. GP’s are negligent in spotting the signs of ovarian cancer
  1. Women are often unaware of the symptoms

Mr Andy Nordin, President of the British Gynaecological Cancer Society and Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist at the East Kent Gynaecological Centre, said:

“We have been aware for over 20 years that survival from ovarian cancer in the UK is poor in comparison with many developed countries. Too many women do not know they have ovarian cancer until they are admitted to hospital extremely unwell, and by this time many are not well enough to cope with our treatments.  We must all work together to diagnose this disease earlier.”

Annwen Jones, Chief Executive of Target Ovarian Cancer, said:

“This is heartbreaking news for women and their families who have battled for a diagnosis and may have faced delays along the way. To finally meet a surgeon or consultant only to discover that it’s too late for treatment is devastating, and a tragic and needless waste of a person’s life. We must all redouble our efforts in this area. The government’s long term plan for the NHS must include plans to eliminate delays and improve early diagnosis in ovarian cancer.”

Clinical Guidelines

Because of the rates of misdiagnosis of ovarian cancer, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence  (NICE) and

Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network  (SIGN) clinical guidelines advise that:

NICE gives clear guidance on how to manage symptomatic women:

  • If physical examination identifies ascites and/or a pelvic or abdominal mass, refer urgently to gynae-oncology.
  • Women reporting persistent or frequent symptoms highly indicative of ovarian cancer should be given a serum CA125 test, particularly if they are age 50 or over.
  • Women age 50 or over presenting with new onset IBS should be given a serum CA125 test.
  • If the CA125 is greater than 35 IU/ml arrange an urgent ultrasound scan of the abdomen and pelvis.
  • If the ultrasound suggests ovarian cancer then the woman should be referred to gynae-oncology

Untreated ovarian cancer can spread throughout the body into other organs and in its advanced stage it is very difficult to treat and can be fatal. Nearly two thirds of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer will have late stage disease at the point of diagnosis.

 

 

 

 

Delays in diagnosing ovarian cancer has led to a situation where 20 per cent of women in England are too ill to treat by the time they receive the correct diagnosis.

If your GP was negligent in diagnosing your ovarian cancer and this delay has significantly affected your health and your changes of recovery, you could be entitled to compensation.

To make a compensation claim for the late diagnosis of your ovarian cancer, speak to one of our experienced cancer misdiagnosis 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, you 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.

 

 

Yes; Devonshires Claims can provide:

  • ‘No Win – No Fee’ claims service for ovarian cancer misdiagnosis compensation claims.
  • . Under a No Win No Fee agreement, which is also known as a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement’, you will not be charged any costs if your case is not successful*.

For more information on our ‘No Win – No Fee’ agreement, please click here.

If your ovarian cancer was misdiagnosed or diagnosed late your compensation payout could provide for:

  • 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.

Though very generalised, the most common symptoms associated with ovarian cancer are:

  • Abdominal pain or pain in the side
  • Chronic abdominal swelling or bloating
  • Irregular periods or vaginal bleeding
  • Unexplained back pain
  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation
  • Pain during intercourse
  • A loss of appetite or feeling of “fullness.”

If the cancer is more advanced, it can also cause fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath.

In the event that an ovarian cancer diagnosis is made, the next step will be to take steps to see how far advanced the cancer is and to tell whether or not it has spread.

 Clinical guidance for symptoms

Guidance issued by NICE and SIGN recognise the following symptoms most commonly associated with ovarian cancer.

Symptoms are frequent (usually occurring 12 times a month or more) and persistent, and include:

  • Persistent abdominal distension (women often refer to this as bloating)
  • Early satiety and/or loss of appetite
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Urinary urgency and/or frequency

Occasionally there can be other symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, unexplained fatigue, and unexplained changes in bowel habit. Any post-menopausal bleeding requires urgent investigation.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer are usually more persistent and frequent than similar symptoms caused by other conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Source: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg122/chapter/1-Guidance#detection-in-primary-care

The two greatest risk factors for ovarian cancer are:

  • Age: Almost 85 per cent of all diagnosed cases occur in women over the age of 50. However young women can and do develop the condition.
  • family history: Women with a family history (maternal or paternal) of ovarian and / or breast cancer could be at greater risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Contact our ovarian cancer misdiagnosis solicitors today

Claiming compensation is not only about seeking justice, but you may also be able to gain access to treatment or medications that are not available on the NHS. Depending on your case, it is possible to request advanced payments to help pay for the care you need.

For more information on Devonshires Claims ‘No Win No Fee’ ovarian cancer misdiagnosis service or to start your free case evaluation, contact us today on 0333 577 9444, email cn@devonshires.co.uk or complete our online form.

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