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Bowel cancer claims

If you or your family have been affected by the late diagnosis or misdiagnosis of bowel cancer, our team of expert medical negligence solicitors can help you pursue a claim for compensation.

To speak with one of our bowel cancer negligence experts call 0800 358 3848 or complete our online enquiry form.

Business as usual during COVID-19

During this difficult time, we want to reassure our clients that we are open for business and working as normal. We are happy to respond immediately to new enquiries either to our enquiry line (0800 358 3848) or to an individual solicitor.

Our IT systems are robust enough for us to work from home and we are meeting current and new clients online and by telephone to deal with all enquiries. The courts, counsel and our experts are continuing to work on your behalf. We will contact all of our clients by phone to reassure you of our continuing support at this difficult time.

We realise that most of you will be in self-isolation and would like to express our best wishes for your ongoing safety and health.

Paul McNeil, Head of Personal Injury and Medical Negligence

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Patients with carcinoma of the bowel tend to present to their GP with a history of rectal bleeding and altered bowel habit. This may be accompanied by abdominal pain and weight loss. Following examination, GPs should refer patients to a specialist bowel surgeon. The bowel surgeon should then repeat the examination and perform a proctoscopy and sigmoidoscopy. Investigations should be arranged to include a full blood count, liver and renal function tests, chest x-ray and barium enema. Lower gastrointestinal endoscopy using fibreoptic endoscope may then be organised and biopsies taken of the suspicious area.  Staging investigations will also include CT scanning.

Delays in Diagnosis

Treatment depends on the stage and site of the tumour. If it is confined to the bowel, surgery (colectomy, resection, proctectomy) will be performed. Depending on the type of cancer (Dukes A, B or C) patients may be offered adjuvant chemotherapy (with Dukes C colon cancer) or radiotherapy (with rectal cancer).

If bowel cancer is diagnosed early the chance of being cured is normally good.  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 bowel cancer can therefore be very serious. Claims may be brought for:

  • Failure to carry out an adequate examination or take an accurate history
  • Failure to refer a patient to a specialist bowel surgeon for further investigation
  • Mistakes in interpreting the investigations
  • Mistaken diagnosis of bowel cancer

Why choose Fieldfisher's medical negligence team?


We achieve record damages for people suffering serious injury following medical negligence. Last year, we recovered more than £200m in compensation claims.


We have more than 30 years' experience pursuing claims for people injured by medical negligence, clinical negligence, medical accidents and medical mistakes.


We are ranked top tier in leading legal directories and regularly recognised in industry awards. We are accredited by APIL, panel members of AvMA and members of the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Panel.

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Medical Negligence Review 2019



Contact us

For a free, no obligation call with one of our medical negligence experts, please dial 0800 358 3848 or complete our online enquiry form.