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A delayed diagnosis for any illness or condition can be life changing, and in some cases, fatal.
Some conditions can be easier to spot than others, and with funding and staffing pressures within the NHS, together with an increase in patient demand, some life-threatening conditions may take longer to diagnose.
A delay in diagnosing an illness can mean that a patient must undergo increased tests and treatments for example, in the case of a late diagnosis of ovarian cancer, the cancer may have spread to the womb or other parts of the body meaning more invasive treatment would be needed.
According to Cancer Research UK, if bowel, breast or ovarian cancer are detected at the earliest stage, there is at least a 90% probability of surviving the disease for at least 5 years.
There are numerous reasons for a delay in diagnosing an illness, from patients not being aware of symptoms, or no symptoms being present, to delays in getting an appointment with a GP or delays in being referred from a GP to a specialist.
A recent study into ovarian cancer shows that 20% of women in England are too ill to receive treatment by the time they get their diagnosis. This delay means the treatment options are limited and quite often mean the patient is left with the prospect of palliative or end of life care.
This report released by Target Ovarian Cancer in association with the Get Data Out project has shown that ovarian cancer delays in diagnosis are common, in part due to a failure to recognise symptoms, GPs lacking knowledge and delays in sourcing the correct diagnostic tests.
You may be able to make a delayed diagnosis claim if you feel your illness or condition was not treated within expected time frames or indeed if you feel any part of your care was not adequate. Blackwater law medical negligence solicitors offer free initial advice and if your case is taken on, we will do so on a no win no fee basis.