Patients with lung cancer generally present with coughing up blood. Those with metastatic disease may also present with weight loss, bone pain or jaundice. GPs should refer patients to a chest physician who will look for abnormalities and clubbing. Investigations should include full blood count, liver function tests, chest x-ray and sputum cytology. If the chest x-ray is abnormal, fibreoptic bronchosopy should be performed. Staging investigations should include a radioisotope bone scan, liver ultrasound and a CT scan.
Delays in Diagnosis
Treatment depends on whether a patient has small or non-small cell lung cancer. Limited stage non-small cell lung cancer may be operable; otherwise it is treated with radiotherapy. Small cell lung cancer is treated with chemotherapy.
To succed in a medical negligence claim you need to prove that the delay affected the outcome. Usually this means you need to prove that during the delay the cancer progressed to a more advanced stage. Therefore, delays of a few months are unlikely to be enough. However if cancer is left, it is likely to grow and can spread to other parts of the body. Mistakes in diagnosing lung cancer can be very serious. Medical negligence claims may be brought for:
Failure to carry out adequate examination or take an accurate history
Failure to refer a patient to a chest physician for further investigations
Mistakes in interpreting investigations
Mistakes in classification of lung cancer as either small cell or non-small cell lung cancer
Mistakes in staging
Mistaken diagnosis of lung cancer
For further information or if you believe you have a cancer misdiagnosis claim, please contact our medical negligence team. All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including legal aid and no win, no fee.
Contact us on freephone 0800 358 3848
Or start your claim online.
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Fixed costs: The end of patient justice
A letter from the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA), the charity for patient safety and justice, published in the Telegraph this week, asked the Health Secretary to reconsider proposals concerning fixed costs in clinical negligence claims.
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