Lung cancer is one of the most fatal diseases in the UK, and is also an illness commonly associated with compensation claims for medical negligence. Lung cancer occurs when the cells in the lungs start to grow and divide erratically, causing a tumour to grow which can either stay localised or spread to other parts of the body.
The risk of developing lung cancer is increased by 10 times or more if you are a smoker and the risk increases with the amount of cigarettes that you smoke. However, lung cancer may also result from exposure to other dangerous toxins such as asbestos.
Lung cancer is characterised by a severe cough, coughing up blood, extreme breathlessness, weight loss, excessive fatigue and persistent chest pain.
The following methods of lung cancer diagnosis can all figure in a medical negligence case as certain signs can be missed at all stages:
There are three main types of lung cancer: small cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. The exact type of lung cancer can be determined when examined under a microscope.
In essence, the most common instances of medical negligence associated with lung cancer include:
Early diagnosis of cancer is vital. Many cases of lung cancer are diagnosed too late for curative treatment to take effect as the cancer has already advanced and spread.
The main reason for this is that the symptoms associated with lung cancer are very similar to those of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), also known as smokers' lung. Most smokers will develop COPD but only a very small percentage will develop lung cancer so doctors may dismiss signs of lung cancer and assume that it is just smokers' lung, thereby committing an act of medical negligence.
Alternatively, if cancer of the lung is suspected a chest X-ray may be given. However, a tumour will only be visible by a regular X-ray if it is at least 1cm in diameter so smaller tumours are often overlooked. But by the time the tumour is at a visible stage it is also likely to be at a stage that is too advanced to treat.
It is also possible for doctors to misread X-rays, another act of medical negligence that could end up in the pursuit of a compensation claim. For example, a woman in the US made a successful medical negligence claim against a radiologist who failed to make a timely diagnosis. She was diagnosed as having metastatic lung cancer a few years after he gave her a chest X-ray that he read as normal.
If you believe that you, or someone close to you, have suffered following an incidence of medical negligence relating to lung cancer, and you would like to make a claim for compensation then we are here to help.
Our panel of personal injury solicitors are experts at dealing with medical negligence claims and are at hand to help you to recover compensation for pain, suffering, lost earnings, medical costs and ongoing medical care.
To find out more or to make a lung cancer misdiagnosis claim fill in an online claim form or call 0800 10 757 95.
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