Cancer misdiagnosis compensation

Contact Our Team

    Our solicitors are here to support families affected by cancer misdiagnosis, late diagnosis or failings during cancer treatment.

    We understand that cancer misdiagnosis or other clinical negligence for cancer patients can have catastrophic repercussions for families.

    No amount of money can put those things right but pursuing a  medical negligence claim can help families to deal with the lasting impacts of cancer misdiagnosis or treatment failures.

    How can making a cancer claim help?

    Making a cancer compensation claim can help secure the money you need to access the specialist help, treatment and equipment that you may need as a result of your suffering.

    Our specialist solicitors’ contacts and expertise in cancer compensation claims ensure we can offer advice and guidance on the rehabilitation experts, clinicians and pain management specialists you may benefit from seeing to ensure you get the best assistance possible.

    If your household income has been affected, a compensation claim can help to ease the financial strain.

    Compensation can help with the financial burden of:

    • specialist cancer treatment and equipment such as prosthetics or cosmetic procedures
    • rehabilitation
    • travel costs for hospital trips and appointments
    • loss of earnings.

    A compensation claim can also help you to get a better understanding of what went wrong in your case and why. Many of our clients feel a huge sense of relief after gaining answers and an apology for their loss and suffering.

    A medical negligence claim can also help others by shining a light on what went wrong to prevent it from happening again.

    Our cancer medical negligence specialists are well versed in dealing with all kinds of cancer compensation claims including late and misdiagnosed cancers and treatment failures.

    We can deal with all types of cancer claims including:

    • lung cancer (squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, large-cell carcinoma and non-small-cell lung cancer, mesothelioma)
    • breast cancer in women and men
    • colorectal cancer/colon cancer/rectum cancer
    • prostate cancer
    • skin cancer, including melanoma and non-melanoma
    • stomach cancer, including adenocarcinoma, soft tissue sarcomas, gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs), lymphomas, such as mucosa associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphomas, carcinoid tumours (also known as NETs).
    • liver cancer, including primary and secondary liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), fibrolamellar carcinoma, Cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer), angiosarcoma/haemangiosarcoma, Hepatoblastoma
    • prostate cancer
    • blood cancer, including myeloma, lymphoma and leukemia
    • missed cancer diagnosis
    • late cancer diagnosis
    • negligent cancer treatment.

    Cancer compensation

    Cancer compensation claims are often brought for the following reasons:

    • missed or delayed diagnosis, leading to the condition becoming worse or terminal or treatment needing to be more invasive
    • failure to provide adequate treatment promptly after diagnosis
    • poorly performed cancer-removal surgery resulting in further damage
    • inadequate follow-up care, including errors in radiotherapy and chemotherapy
    • death due to missed diagnosis or failures in treatment.

    Cancer treatment claims can involve complex issues about who is at fault for your injuries and what could have been done to prevent them. As a result, it is important that you instruct a specialist clinical negligence solicitor with experience in this area.

    Smiling carer kneels beside lady in wheelchair


    £ 475,000 for widow whose husband’s cancer was missed

    Our medical negligence solicitors supported a disabled widow to claim £475,000 when her husband, who was also her carer, died of cancer that was missed by his GP.

    Ben* had tests for prostate cancer in 2003 but his GP failed to investigate the results and he was not referred for treatment.

    When Ben developed further symptoms, in 2009, the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes and was incurable.

    Ben’s wife, who had suffered a serious injury to her spine years before, relied on Ben for care. In addition to the grief and devastation that came from the loss of her husband, Ben’s wife struggled to manage at home.

    Our cancer compensation solicitors were able to negotiate damages of £475,000, which included money to meet the costs of paying for the care and assistance Ben’s wife required after he had gone.

    *Names have been changed to protect the identities of the individuals

    How much compensation is paid for misdiagnosis of cancer?

    If you claim compensation for injury as a result of failures in treatment or diagnosis of cancer, the amount of money you receive is made up of two elements: general damages and special damages.

    General damages are guideline amounts to compensate for the pain and suffering caused and are usually adhered to quite closely.

    Special damages vary greatly. The amount of special damages you receive depends partly on the solicitor you have and how thorough and specialist they are. They must consider and calculate all aspects of the costs you may incur as a result of your injury – including ongoing medical costs, requirements for home adaptations and loss of earnings, for example – and seek to negotiate payment of these costs from the other party.

    Below are details of some of the general damages amounts recommended for injuries that may result from cancer misdiagnosis, missed cancer or mistakes or failures during treatment.

    Injury suffered as a result of misdiagnosed or missed cancer Specifics about the extent of the injury Guidelines general damages amount.


    *important note: Special damages will also form part of the claim and may be far greater than general damages amount.

    Loss of a kidney £28,880 to £42,110
    Loss of bowel function and dependence on colostomy Up to £140,870
    Below knee amputation of a leg £91,950 to £124,800
    Male sterility For a young man without children £52,620 to £66,970
    Female infertility with associated severe depression and anxiety £107,810 to £158,970
    A disfiguring scar to the leg, arm, hand, back or chest  

    £7,350 to £21,330

    In cases where an exploratory laparotomy has been performed and has caused a scar but no significant internal injury has been found. In the region of £8,110
    Death – compensation amount for a qualifying family member Via the Statutory Bereavement Award £15,120


    Blood tests
    Female client discussing claim with solicitor.

    Can I claim missed cancer diagnosis compensation for a loved one?

    If a loved one has died after failures in their cancer care it is possible for certain relatives, such as the parent of a child or spouse of an adult, to claim compensation.

    Relatives often want an explanation or apology for what happened and we can help with that. Our solicitors can also represent you at an inquest and we have a client fact sheet about inquests that you may find helpful.

    Compensation may be awarded to help offset the financial hardship caused by a loved one’s illness and death where medical negligence was a factor.

    You may also qualify for a Statutory Bereavement Award of £15,120.

    Is there a time limit to claim compensation for cancer medical negligence?

    There are time limits within which cancer misdiagnosis claims must be made – but there are also slight variations to these that mean it is best to consult a solicitor for help to decide if you’re not sure if you’ve still got time to pursue an action.

    It is usually the case that you have three years from the date you were aware of the negligence. In the case of children or someone with mental capacity issues, the rules are different.

    Find out more via our time limits FAQ.


    How common is cancer misdiagnosis?

    It has been reported that as many as four in 10 people with cancer in the UK are initially misdiagnosed – and one in five wait more than six months for a correct diagnosis.

    A recent report in The Lancet estimated that there would be a total of up to 3,621 additional deaths within five years of diagnosis for four common cancer types due to delays in care related to COVID-19. The study focused on breast, colorectal, oesophageal and lung cancer. There have been some reports that lung cancer may have been misdiagnosed as COVID-19 in some cases in 2020.

    If you fear a delay in cancer diagnosis has affected you or a loved one, we are happy to advise on whether you may have a compensation claim. Do get in touch.

    You may also find our guide to claiming damages for clinical negligence useful.

    Women’s cancer claims

    Medical science is beginning to realise that the ‘one size fits all’ approach to medicine has resulted in dangerous gaps in the provision of care for women.

    This can result in problems with diagnosis and treatment of certain conditions, one of which is cancer. To learn more, visit our Women’s Health – #Betterforwomen guide.

    Enable Law’s cancer misdiagnosis specialists

    The work of one of our specialists was selected for specific praise by Chambers Legal Directory.

    It said:  “Jackie Linehan is noted for her expertise in claims relating to misdiagnosis of cancer and birth injuries, including cerebral palsy. One impressed client remarks: ‘She really listens to what you have to say and makes you feel at ease with the situation.’ ”


    Speak to an Accredited Cancer Claim Solicitor Today

    We understand the needs of those affected by cancer treatment, and we will be sensitive, efficient and thorough. Our team has the detailed medical knowledge to fully investigate your claim and secure the level of compensation you need.

    We offer a free initial discussion to talk through your concerns, advise you on the relevant law, and talk through the practical steps necessary to obtain a successful outcome.

    0800 044 8488