Cancer Misdiagnosis

Cancer misdiagnosis is the failure to diagnose a cancer correctly and in a timely manner. It arises most commonly when a patient presents to their doctor with symptoms that would justify further investigation and the doctor does not react appropriately or it can occur when investigations are conducted but the results are not read or interpreted correctly. In either case, the result will inevitably be a delay in diagnosis and appropriate treatment. In many cases that delay will have a detrimental effect on the health and well-being of the patient and it is that detriment that we must prove in order to bring a cancer misdiagnosis case to a successful conclusion. 

Cian O'Carroll Solicitors is currently representing a large number of clients who have suffered critical delays in the diagnosis of breast cancer, cervical cancers, cancers of the stomach and colon together with sever clients affected by pharyngial and prostate cancer errors. Because of our extensive experience in this very specialist area of legal practice, we are well positioned to advise our clients confidently and then progress their cases with speed and efficiency. 

Where delays occur in the correct diagnosis of a cancer, patients can suffer in a number of different ways.

Loss of Chance of Survival

Most seriously, those who have suffered a misdiagnosis can suffer a loss of opportunity to make a good recovery. To put this another way, they may suffer a reduced chance to get better. This can be expressed as a percentage such as a 50% lower chance of surviving the disease based on the statistical liklihood of being alive in ten years time. The percentage loss can of course be any figure.   

Loss of chance of survival can be quite a complicated thing to assess and we work with a team of leading oncologists in a range of sub-specialties in the UK who advise us with expert opinions on all issues relating to whether an unacceptable failure has occurred in a patient's care, whether that failure has caused the patient harm and finally, the nature and extent of that harm.

Cancer misdiagnosis cases are often quite complex with multiple issues and so It is essential that such cases are considered at the earliest possible stage by an experienced medical negligence solicitor 

More Aggressive Course of Treatment

A patient with a cancer misdiagnosis will often require more aggressive treatment due to the delay in correctly diagnosing the cancer. This may result in surgery that would otherwise not have been necessary, radiotherapy and chemotherapy that would otherwise have been of less intensity, less duration or not required at all.

We assess the additional treatment directly attributable to the failure to diagnose and ensure that this treatment, all related costs and expenses and any future medical expenses are included in your case for compensation.

Psychological Distress

In addition, patients may suffer a psychological or psychiatric injury such as depression or a shock reaction to learning of the misdiagnosis.

Financial Loss

Finally, there may be significant out of pocket expenses arising from a misdiagnosis including medical expenses, travelling expenses, childcare costs and loss of earnings.


At Cian O'Carroll Solicitors we are experienced at preparing and successfully prosecuting cases arising from cancer misdiagnosis against private hospitals, public hospitals under the HSE and individual specialist doctors such as surgeons, radiologists and pathologists.

See Cian O'Carroll Solicitors In The News
Read posting on Fahey v. Barringtons Hospital & Others, a recent breast cancer misdiagnosis trial
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