Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer
A failure to diagnose cancer can be due to a doctor missing vital symptoms or misinterpreting test results. Late diagnosis can result when there is a delay in hospital referral or acting on test results.
A missed or delayed diagnosis can have fatal consequences, reduced life expectancy, prolong symptoms or result in more invasive or extensive treatment being required.
Some patients are misdiagnosed as having cancer when there is no cancer present, resulting in unnecessary treatment, anxiety and a failure to treat the true cause of symptoms.
Guidelines are available to doctors to assist them in identifying signs and symptoms of cancer and making appropriate referrals in a timely manner. Whilst not conclusive, failure to follow these guidelines may be a good indication that you have received substandard care. In most cases, however, it is necessary to obtain expert medical opinion both on what should have been done and how the outcome is likely to have been different.