Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the UK. According to Cancer Research UK around one-in-six men can expect a diagnosis of prostate cancer in their lifetime and every year. It is so common that, despite only affecting males, it accounts for 13% of all cancer cases in the UK.
Nearly 12,000 men die from prostate cancer every year. In some cases, this will be because the cancer diagnosis was late; around four-in-ten cases of prostate cancer are discovered when the cancer is advanced. And, tragically, in some, this happens because mistakes made by health professionals resulted in the prostate cancer being misdiagnosed or diagnosed late.
If your prostate cancer was misdiagnosed or there were significant delays in the diagnosis and treatment of the condition, you could be entitled to compensation.
You may be able to able to bring a claim for prostate cancer misdiagnosis if you have been:
- Given an incorrect cancer diagnosis
- Told you did not have cancer when you did
- Given the wrong treatment for your cancer
- Given a delayed diagnosis
Our cancer misdiagnosis solicitors will handle the end to end process of the claim on your behalf, ensuring you receive the compensation you need to cover your financial losses, pain and suffering, medical, and any other costs. For more information on making a prostate cancer misdiagnosis claim or to start your free case evaluation, contact our ‘No Win No Fee’ medical negligence solicitors today on 0333 900 8787, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online contact form.
What are the consequences of the late diagnosis of prostate cancer?
While prostate cancers are usually defined as localised, where it remains within the prostate, or locally advanced, where it has spread, but is still contained within the prostate gland, it can metastasise, spreading beyond the prostate to other parts of the body.
The danger of misdiagnosis, even at an early stage, is that because the symptoms of prostate cancer, such as difficulties urinating, can be prolonged and largely unchanging until the cancer progresses – the patient can continue to tolerate them – unaware there is a more serious problem. A misdiagnosis of a benign enlarged prostate, for example, may mean the patient believes they can ignore the symptoms and not return to their GP until the cancer has spread and started causing other problems.
The risks of misdiagnosis of prostatitis are even higher, since the symptoms include those that can also occur with advanced prostate cancer, e.g. pain. Although prostatitis will resolve itself, this can take several months. This means that if a GP or specialist misdiagnoses a patient, they could have advanced prostate cancer for several months but get no help for it.
Because as many as 40% of prostate cancers are not discovered until they are at a late stage, the prognosis for those patients is significantly worse. While some of those cases will be because the patient presented late, perhaps because their symptoms were mild, some, unfortunately, will have been misdiagnosed.
Misdiagnosis means that the chances of a successful recovery are usually lower, and it increases the likelihood more radical treatment is needed, with all the impact that brings to a patient and their family. In cases where the NHS or a private health care provider has failed to promptly identify and treat prostate cancer, the misdiagnosis or late diagnosis could entitle a patient to make a compensation claim.
Prostate Cancer Misdiagnosis FAQs
The symptoms of prostate cancer are largely related to urination and can be misinterpreted by both patients and doctors. Someone suffering from prostate cancer may find they need to urinate more often or more urgently, especially during the night. Despite this need, prostate cancer can also affect the flow of urination, making it harder to start or weaker once started.
Many may associate these symptoms with other factors, such as lifestyle or simply ageing. And the onset can be gradual, making it hard to notice. More severe symptoms which would prompt a GP visit, such as blood in the urine or semen, or pain elsewhere, can occur, but generally only when the cancer has progressed
There is no screening programme for prostate cancer in the UK. The initial test for prostate cancer is a blood test that checks the level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a higher level indicates there may be cancer.
However, the test is not perfect, other things may cause raised PSA and, in some cases, cancer may be present without causing an elevated PSA level. Because of this, the NHS decided the costs of a national screening programme outweigh the benefits. Instead, men can get a test via their GP is they meet certain risk criteria, such as being over 50, black or obese
GP diagnosis is a point at which misdiagnosis can occur, since the symptoms that a man is likely to present are like other conditions, such an enlarged, but benign, prostate, prostatitis, where an infection may have caused temporary swelling, or a urinary tract infection.
It’s also possible that even if a GP arranges for a PSA test to be conducted, misdiagnosis may still occur. The false-negative rate is around 15%, in other words the test may come back negative despite the presence of cancer. In addition, it’s possible that the results are misinterpreted or that administrative processes fail, meaning that the necessary follow-ups never happen.
The Covid-19 pandemic may also be a factor. There have been around 52,000 fewer urgent referrals for suspected prostate cancer since the pandemic began. Whether this is because patients are choosing to postpone medical matters, or changes in the way that healthcare works means symptoms are being missed is unknown. However, given that older men are less inclined to see GPs in the first place, and often communicate symptoms poorly, it is not impossible that the move to phone or virtual appointments means that GPs are missing the cues they would notice in a physical appointment that might result in a referral.
To make a compensation claim for the misdiagnosis or the late diagnosis of prostate cancer, 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 the 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**.
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 cancer misdiagnosis experts today
When prostate cancer is diagnosed early, the prognosis is good. The ten-year survival rate is 78%, which is remarkable when one of the biggest risk factors of prostate cancer is age: over a third of diagnoses are in the over-75s, despite this age group only forming about 7% of the male population. This is partly down to prostate cancer developing slowly. This slow development also means that it is very treatable, with surgery and radiotherapy both being effective.
If you have suffered as a result of your prostate cancer diagnosis being delayed, missed, or incorrect, our cancer misdiagnosis solicitors will guide you through the process of securing medical negligence compensation, help you get the treatment you need and maybe even assist with interim expenses.
Our cancer misdiagnosis claims service provides:
- A free no-obligation case evaluation
- Advice on the probability of success for a claim and the amount of compensation you could potentially obtain
- Friendly, compassionate and experienced claims experts
- A No Win No Fee agreement i.e. you will not incur any costs if your claim is not successful*.
- Access to a network of medical experts and specialist barristers
Our experts work hard to secure victims of medical negligence the justice and compensation they deserve.
For more information on Devonshires Claims ‘No Win No Fee’ prostate cancer misdiagnosis claims service or to start your free case evaluation, contact us today on 0333 900 8787, email email@example.com or complete our online form.
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