Skin Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims

According to Cancer Research UK,  86% of cases of skin cancer are preventable if diagnosed early.

However if mistakes are made in diagnosing skin cancer, it could result in the cancer spreading throughout the body and affect the chances of making a full recovery.  Serious delays may also require more aggressive forms of treatment eg. surgery or amputation.

Skin cancer includes two main types non-melanoma and melanoma. Non-melanoma skin cancers include basal, squamous and other rare types. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer which develops from skin cells called melanocytes.

According to Cancer Research UK:

  • There are around 16,700 new melanoma skin cancer cases in the UK every year (about) 46 every day (2016-2018)
  • Melanoma skin cancer is the 5th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 4% of all new cancer cases (2016-2018).
  • There were 2,341 deaths from melanoma skin cancer, 2017-2019, UK.

If mistakes were made in diagnosing your melanoma or other skin cancer, and the subsequent delays in treatment led to the cancer becoming worse, you could be entitled to claim compensation.

Contact our cancer misdiagnosis experts for a free consultation.

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

For more information on making a cancer misdiagnosis claim or to start your free case evaluation, contact our experts on 0333 900 8787, email or complete our online form.

Mistakes Made in Diagnosing and Treating Melanoma or Other Skin Cancer

Mistakes made in diagnosing skin cancer include:

  • GP failed to carry out a proper examination of the skin
  • GP failed to carry out a biopsy on the mole / lesion / lump
  • There were delays in referring you for a biopsy. According to NICE the following time frames should be used when referring a patient:
    • Melanoma should be referred to a specialist within two weeks
    • With Basel cell carcinoma – these should be referred to a consultant within 18 weeks
    • Squamous cell carcinoma – these are more dangerous and should be referred to a consultant within two weeks
  • GP failed to determine and/or act on a family history of the condition
  • Melanoma may be misdiagnosed if it is appears in another part of the body eg rare sites such as eyes (ophthalmic) or subungual tumours (may result in amputation of a digit)
  • GP failed to investigate an association with other conditions you may have, such as solar keratosis, xeroderma pigmentosum, psoriasis, eczema, Gorlin syndrome, HPV.
  • The skin cancer was misdiagnosed as an another condition eg. psoriasis, Seborrheic Keratoses (Benign tumour), Sebaceous hyperplasia, Nevus (mole), Cherry angioma.
  • Your GP failed to advise you to return if there were changes in the skin condition eg. the mole / lesion/ lump grew or started bleeding
  • A specialist or other medical professional incorrectly interpreted the lab (histology) results i.e. mistakenly cleared you of having cancer when you did have the condition
  • Failed to be referred for sentinel node biopsy to determine if the cancer has spread to the lymph glands (nodes)
  • Incorrectly diagnosing skin cancer when you did not have the condition

Mistakes made in the treatment or referral for treatment:

  • Your skin cancer treatment was delayed
  • The lab, GP clinic or hospital lost your test results
  • The surgeon failed to completely remove the skin cancer, and it returned
  • The surgeon made mistakes during the surgery to remove skin cancer, and damaged nerves, damaged tendons and surrounding tissues, or the surgery resulted in infection

Claiming compensation for the delay in diagnosis and treating skin cancer

If there were mistakes, including delays in diagnosing your skin cancer, or there were mistakes in your treatment, you could be entitled to claim compensation.

Early diagnosis and treatment for any cancer is important as it can increase the chances of survival for a cancer suffered, and may prevent the need for more serious and invasive treatments such as surgery.

The compensation pay-out could provide for:

  • Specialist private surgery or treatment to recover from skin cancer and the consequences of the cancer
  • Necessary care and assistance
  • Rehabilitation or home adaptations
  • Loss of earnings
  • Expenses (e.g. travel costs)
  • Where possible we will request early interim payments so that you can begin specialist treatment as quickly as possible

For more information on Devonshires Claims ‘No Win No Fee’ cancer misdiagnosis claims service or to start your free case evaluation, contact us today on 0333 900 8787, email or complete our online form.

Skin Cancer Misdiagnosis FAQs

Age is the most important risk factor in the development of melanoma skin cancers.

According to research published by Cancer Research UK:

  • Melanoma skin cancer incidence is related to age, with the highest incidence rates being in older people. In the UK in 2016-2018, on average each year more than a quarter of new cases (29%) were in people aged 75 and over
  • Age-specific incidence rates increase steadily from around age 20-24 and more steeply in males from around age 55-59. The highest rates are in in the 85 to 89 age group for females and males.

skin cancer statisitics


Other risk factors include:

  • Sun exposure, especially for those will lighter skin colour
  • Previous incidence of skin cancer
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • People with certain skin conditions may be at higher risk

 Research by the Royal Marsden Hospital has identified more risk factors for developing melanomas:

  • A history of blistering sunburn: patients with a history of sunburn are more than twice as likely to get melanoma. The higher the number of sunburns, the greater the risk
  • Use of sunbeds: the risk is highest for patients who have used a sunbed aged under 35 but use at any age will increase the risk due to the increased exposure to UV light.
  • Patients with fair skin, freckling and light hair (skin type I and II) are more susceptible to skin cancer (see below)
  • Presence of atypical/dysplastic nevi including irregular moles that are >5mm diameter with variegate pigmentation
  • Previous non-melanoma skin cancer
  • Family history of melanoma
  • Immuno suppression for any reason e.g. transplant patient, HIV Skin types

Skin cancer can be misdiagnosed as another skin condition. Often this can occur when:

  • A GP or specialist may fail to refer a patient for biopsy or there are delays or mistakes in referring a patient.
  • The test results may be incorrect
  • Young people may be misdiagnosed: According to Melanoma UK, although the incidence of melanoma increases with age, the number of cases in young people is disproportionately high, making it one of the most common cancers in people aged 15 to 37.


To make a compensation claim for the misdiagnosis or the late diagnosis of melanoma or other skin cancers, speak to one of our cancer misdiagnosis solicitors today.  They will take the time to listen to the details of your case in an empathetic and caring manner and advise if you have grounds for a claim.  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.

Your solicitor will take strain off you and handle your case for you, including collating the necessary evidence (including medical records and correspondence) and will write to the organisation responsible for your care, stating the grounds for your claim.  Our team are best placed to be able to understand the response and move your claim forward to a satisfactory resolution.

Yes; 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 cancer misdiagnosis injury compensation claims.

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

If you win your case there will be some deductions from your damages **.

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

Medical negligence injury claims are rarely completed quickly.  The timescale for a cancer misdiagnosis injury claim will depend on individual circumstances of your case; however, most cases commonly take  at least 2 – 3 years to fully conclude.  However, we are often able to secure interim payments to help you with your treatment or day-to-day expenses.  Factors which will affect how long your claim takes may include:

  • how severely you were injured
  • the prognosis
  • whether ongoing care is required
  • how much rehabilitation is needed
  • whether you require costs to cover home modifications
  • Whether the defendant admits liability (if they do, claims can usually be concluded much faster).

Compensation claims for cancer misdiagnosis not only reflect the physical and mental pain and suffering experienced but also:

  • Allow you to obtain justice for the mistreatment and negligence you experienced
  • Highlight failings in clinical practice, standards of care and protocols
  • Provide you and your family with an explanation of the incident and an apology if shortcomings are acknowledged

The compensation payment will depend on several factors:

  • Your pain and suffering
  • Your prognosis
  • The impact of the delay and / or negligence on your health and quality of life – including current and future care requirements, medical aids, home adaptations or other necessary assistance
  • Any financial losses you have incurred as a result of the injuries – including past loss of earnings, medical expenses, travel expenses and equipment costs
  • Any future financial losses, e.g. loss of wages, loss of promotion prospects, pension

Compensation for cancer claims injury fall into two main categories:

  • General compensation (General Damages): this includes compensation for pain and suffering and the impact of the injury on lifestyle and quality of life.
  • Financial losses and expenses (Special Damages): these include the costs associated with private treatment, care support, travel expenses, other medical expenses, specialist equipment and loss of income.


Contact our experienced cancer misdiagnosis solicitors today

Melanoma skin cancer incidence rates are projected to rise by 7% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 32 cases per 100,000 people by 2035

Most types of skin cancer are very treatable if detected early. However malignant melanomas are more dangerous and can spread to other parts of the body when the condition is condition is not diagnosed and treated.

If you feel that your GP, consultant or other healthcare provider was negligent and responsible for the late your skin cancer, or mistakes were made in your skin cancer treatment, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim.

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.

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What our clients say:
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.
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
My experience of Devonshires and in Particular our solicitor dealing with our claim Jeanette Van- Cauter was very professional and kept us informed all through the process. - J.B.

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