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Claiming For Delayed Bladder Cancer Diagnosis

Bladder cancer can become invasive very quickly. It is therefore crucial that medical professionals make a diagnosis in the early stages; if there is a delay, the outlook for recovery becomes less favourable.

How is bladder cancer diagnosed?

There are typical symptoms associated with bladder cancer that should prompt medical professionals to arrange further investigative tests. Of these, the most notable indication is blood in the urine, known medically as hematuria. Other common symptoms also include changes to the normal pattern of urination such as:-

  • The need to urinate on a more frequent basis;
  • The sudden urge to urinate;
  • Pain when urinating.

When a patient presents with these complaints, doctors should be quick to initiate further investigation to either confirm or rule out a diagnosis of bladder cancer. The first step will be to send a urine sample to a laboratory to be tested for abnormal cells. However, this is not always accurate and so other tests will be needed. This will usually involve an intravenous urogram (IVU), a cystoscopy and, if abnormalities are found, a biopsy. Together, these tests will be able to verify whether or not a patient has bladder cancer.

Why would there be a delay in diagnosing bladder cancer?

Occasionally, people who are experiencing the typical signs of bladder cancer do not seek medical attention because they are embarrassed about their symptoms. This delay can have devastating consequences, as early treatment is necessary if a patient is to make a full recovery.

However, there are times when a delay in diagnosis lies directly with medical professionals. Indeed, we have acted for many individuals who have attended their GP or hospital with symptoms indicative of bladder cancer, only for doctors to make an inaccurate diagnosis. Often this will happen because:-

  • The appropriate diagnostic tests are not arranged;
  • The diagnostic tests are not accurately interpreted;
  • A GP fails to make a referral to a specialist.

Does a delay in diagnosis amount to negligence?

If medical professionals are responsible for a delay in diagnosis, there could be a case of medical negligence. Nevertheless, it must be possible to establish that a delay in diagnosis contributed towards a patient's injuries. For example, if a diagnosis is not made in a timely fashion, a patient may require more extensive treatment, be left with permanent health complications or even have a reduced life expectancy. If so, the errors made by medical professionals will have caused a patient unnecessary pain and suffering. In such cases, it will be possible for a patient to pursue a medical negligence claim which, if successful, will ensure suitable compensation is awarded.

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Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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