Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis Compensation

Can I make a lung cancer misdiagnosis compensation claim for lung cancer that was originally misdiagnosed as a chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder? The correct diagnosis has just been made and I have been told the cancer is at stage 3, but I first visited the doctor with my concerns over eight months ago.

Answer:

A lung cancer misdiagnosis compensation claim is often a complicated process in difficult circumstances. It can be particularly difficult to diagnose lung cancer in the early stages as it rarely produces any significant symptoms and is often misdiagnosed as a lung condition with similar symptoms – such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder – causing a delay in receiving the appropriate treatment.

Although a low percentage of sufferers of lung cancer manage to survive the disease in the long term, the chances of recovering from lung cancer can be significantly improved when the cancer is identified and treated early in its development. An avoidable delay in receiving treatment at stage 1 or 2 of the disease may have allowed the lung cancer to spread to stage 3 which has affected the chances of treatment being effective.

When symptoms of lung cancer are present, and your doctor makes a misdiagnosis, this would be considered to be medical negligence if “at the time and in the circumstances” a competent doctor would have identified the symptoms correctly. However, if you were to make a lung cancer misdiagnosis compensation claim, you must also be able to establish — with the help of medical experts — that the misdiagnosis and the delay in treatment resulted in the cancer progressing to stage 3, or that it significantly deteriorated due to the delay in diagnosis.

In order for your claim for lung cancer misdiagnosis compensation to be successful, you must be able to determine ‘on the balance of probability’ that had a correct diagnosis or a referral to an oncologist been made at the time you voiced your concerns to your doctor, you would have stood a better chance of responding to treatment and that the misdiagnosis has caused you to come to harm.

From what you have written in your question, it would appear that you have a viable lung cancer misdiagnosis compensation claim. However, it would be advisable to discuss your personal situation with an experienced medical negligence solicitor to find out the procedures for having an examination by a medical expert and confirming your right to make a claim for the misdiagnosis of lung cancer.