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Stomach and Gastric Cancer Misdiagnosis

Not only can stomach cancer misdiagnosis affect the outlook of treatment, it can have an impact on your mental and financial well-being.

A photo of Mrs Swaffield

I am very happy and satisfied with the settlement you achieved for me and the service was excellent and thank you very much

Mrs E.Swaffield
Loughborough

Claiming for a stomach cancer misdiagnosis

Discovering you have stomach cancer can be a traumatic experience but if it comes after receiving a misdiagnosis or a level of care that is below standard it can make the experience far worse. Not only does the misdiagnosis of cancer affect the outlook for treatment it can have an impact on a patient’s mental well-being, financial state, and leave them unsure of where to turn for help.

Most people suffering from stomach cancer in the UK receive an excellent level of care and treatment that gives them the best outlook possible. But where this hasn’t been the case, compensation for delayed stomach cancer diagnosis can be considered. Taking a medical negligence claim forward can help you understand why you were let down by the health care system and hold those responsible to account. If successful, the financial compensation can mean you’re better able to cover outgoings while you recover or pay for further treatment to be undertaken

We know that the misdiagnosis of stomach cancer can have a serious impact on your life and if you’ve been affected while suffering from stomach cancer, we could help you. Stomach cancer misdiagnosis claims don’t undo the wrongs patients have experienced but it can help them receive the answers they’re looking for. When you work with Your Legal Friend you’ll have the support of stomach cancer misdiagnosis lawyers, who will help guide your case and work to ensure you the best outcome possible.

From the very beginning of the process to the end we will be on hand to offer advice and guidance. Our team have experience of working with others that have suffered as a result of medical negligence and could use their considerable skills to help you secure financial compensation too.

The time limit on making a stomach cancer claim

All medical claims are subject to a time limit, including missed stomach cancer diagnosis compensation. Patients that have been affected by poor levels of care in the healthcare system must take their case forward within 3 years from ‘date of knowledge’.

‘Date of knowledge’ refers to when the patient first realised there had been a mistake, in cancer cases this is usually the date on which the cancer was diagnosed. While in some cases it’s easy to pinpoint the ‘date of knowledge’ this isn’t always the case. If you’re unsure about your personal case and how long you have to make a medical claim we can help you.

While you do have 3 years to make a claim in court against those responsible for the suffering you endured and your experience, we recommend that you start the process as soon as possible. This means that the case will be concluded quicker, giving you access to the financial compensation sooner if successful. It can also make investigating your case easier. This is because the details will still be fresh in your mind and documents, such as medical records, will be easier to access if they are more recent.

If you do not claim within the set time period, your claim will be considered ‘statute barred’ or ‘out of time’ and will unfortunately not be taken further. There are two exceptions to this rule, in the case of children and if the negligence directly led to a fatality. In these cases suing the NHS for negligence is still possible as the date on which time begins to run is the date of the child’s 18th birthday, and in the case of fatalities, from the date of death.

We know that taking the decision to make a compensation claim can be a scary prospect but, with our support, making a medical claim doesn’t have to be stressful or add pressure during an already challenging time.

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Our medical negligence team has years of experience working on a wide variety of cancer negligence cases so we understand just how difficult a decision it can be to bring a stomach cancer negligence case.

Stomach cancer misdiagnosis claims team

That’s why we are committed to guiding you through every step of the process. We ensure that your claim is handled carefully and professionally by our specialist solicitors, while working alongside medical experts, to guarantee the best results for you.

Our stomach cancer negligence team is headed by Laura Morgan who has a wealth of experience in leading complicated, high-value stomach cancer negligence cases.

Laura is recognised within the legal profession as a leader in the field of medical negligence and serious injury compensation.  Laura has acted in a wide range of cases over her 17 years of practice and has particular expertise in acting for children who have suffered brain injury due to mismanaged birth or surgical errors, and in managing claims that have resulted in the death of a loved one. Laura has achieved a number of large settlements including £5.4 million for a 7-year-old and £4 million for an 11-year-old child.

Laura’s expertise and dedication to her clients is recognised in the Chambers guide to the Legal Profession in which she was praised for the efficiency of her approach to case handling and described as “tenacious and detail-oriented”.

Laura has been a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel since 2005 and accredited as a Senior Litigator in the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) since 2006.  Laura is also a member of the specialist lawyers panel for Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA), the UK’s leading charity committed to patient safety and justice.

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The effects of medical negligence can be devastating for the individual and their families, so securing appropriate compensation for them as quickly as possible is our top priority.

Laura Morgan

Director of Medical Negligence

What our customers say

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“I found the staff to be friendly, helpful, courteous and they kept me well informed on a regular basis”

Mrs. Vora,
Loughborough

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“They acted in a sympathetic and professional manner and resolved my case very efficiently”

Mr Dowse
Leeds

  For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today 0151 550 5228

10 simple steps to claim

Step
1
Obtaining your medical records
Step
2
Providing your statement of what happened
Step
3
Minimising your loss
Step
4
Establishing that a breach of duty occurred
Step
5
Estabilishing the effect of the breach of duty
Step
86
Preparing your case for CourtCalculating the value of your claim
Step
7
Proving your loss
Step
68
Calculating the value of your claimPreparing your case for Court
Step
9
Attending the trial in Court
Step
10
Awarding your compensation claim

Your questions... answered

What is stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer, sometimes referred to as gastric cancer, is cancer that starts in the stomach but it can spread to other parts of the body as it moves into the later stages. 

All forms of cancer start when cells begin acting abnormally and multiplying uncontrollably. These cells can then form masses, called tumours. In some cases, it’s not known what causes the cells to change and become cancerous. However, stomach cancer differs from many others forms of the disease as a high portion of cases can be attributed to lifestyle factors that can be changed to reduce the risk of the disease developing.

Can I claim for stomach cancer misdiagnosis?

If you experienced stomach cancer misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis you may be able to make a compensation claim. In order to be successful, a claim will need to demonstrate that you received substandard treatment from the healthcare system and that you have suffered a worse outcome as a result.  

A failure to diagnose stomach cancer claim can arise out of many different circumstances. For instance, if you visited your GP and had the symptoms which should have been recognised as possibly stomach cancer but you were not referred you for the further tests. Alternatively, you could have a claim if your test results showed that cancerous cells were present but these were read wrong or were not adequately followed up. Stomach cancer malpractice can also go beyond misdiagnosis. For example, if you received a poor level of treatment after undergoing surgery for stomach cancer.

How much compensation will I get?

The amount of compensation you could receive as part of a stomach cancer misdiagnosis payout varies from case to case. The amount is calculated based on each individual case and the impact the misdiagnosis has had. Stomach cancer is serious and failing to detect it during the early stages can mean it spreads and becomes untreatable, in such a  case the compensation received will be more than a case where surgery can still remove the cancerous cells from the stomach.

When assessing the value of your claim will look at the additional and avoidable suffering caused by the misdiagnosis as well as financial losses such as how it’s affected your ability to work and your family’s needs.

How long do I have to make a claim?

If you believe you have a failure to diagnose claim, whether for stomach cancer or another condition, we recommend that you start the investigation as soon as possible. This not only means your case will be concluded sooner, it helps with recalling the details of your symptoms and treatment that will support your claim. Documents and records are also easier to obtain if you start the process sooner rather than later, speeding up the claims process.

That being said, you do have 3 years to make a medical compensation claim in Court. The time limit starts from the ‘date of knowledge’, this refers to when you first realised that there was a problem. For stomach cancer misdiagnosis compensation this could be when you receive an accurate diagnosis, which can be sometime after first visiting the GP. Alternatively if your case centres on not receiving the best treatment for your case, the ‘date of knowledge’ can start even later.

What causes stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer is the 16th most common cancer in the UK but around three-quarters of cases could be avoided by changes in lifestyle. Stomach cancer causes include:

  • Diet– Research has linked several dietary factors to an increased risk of developing stomach cancer. These include eating too few fruits and vegetables, eating a high portion of processed meats, and eating foods that are high in salt. According to Cancer Research UK diets with high amounts of salt cause around a quarter of stomach cancer cases.
  • Smoking– It is believed that that around 1 in 5 cases of stomach cancer is linked to smoking tobacco. The risk of stomach cancer developing is linked to the number of cigarettes smoked per day.
  • Being overweight– The evidence linking stomach cancer to being overweight or obese is uncertain but some research does suggest that having a high BMI can increase the risk of stomach cancer.

However, not all stomach cancer is linked to lifestyle choices and in these cases, the exact cause is not always known. Around half of people that develop cancer are over the age of 75 and it’s more common for men to get the disease, with men almost twice as likely to develop stomach cancer when compared to women.

Other stomach cancer causes and risk factors include:

  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Heavily drinking alcohol
  • Weakened immune system
  • Low amounts of stomach acid
Read less

What are the symptoms of stomach cancer?

During the early stages of the disease, stomach cancer symptoms can be very similar to those of less serious conditions. This can mean gastric symptoms of cancer can be overlooked and lead to a misdiagnosis of the disease.

Early stage symptoms of stomach cancer include:

  • Persistent indigestion
  • Trapped wind and frequent burping
  • Heartburn
  • Felling full very quickly when eating
  • Feeling bloated after eating
  • Feeling sick
  • Pain in your stomach or breastbone
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Vomiting

As the disease progresses the symptoms of cancer in the stomach can become more obvious and less likely to be confused with other conditions. Advanced gastric cancer symptoms include:

  • Blood in your stools
  • Loss of appetites
  • Weight loss
  • Tiredness
  • Lumpiness and swelling in your stomach
  • Anaemia
  • Jaundice, the yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes

Signs and symptoms of stomach cancer should be examined by your GP, especially if they are persistent, however, stomach cancer is rare and it’s unlikely that signs, such as indigestion, are due to cancer. Despite this, it's recommended you visit your GP as soon as possible because stomach cancer is easier to treat the earlier it is diagnosed.

Read less

How is stomach cancer diagnosed?

The first step to a stomach cancer diagnosis is to visit your GP. Your GP should speak with you about your symptoms and carry out an examination of your stomach, checking for tenderness and lumpiness. If they should suspect stomach cancer you will be referred to a specialist for further tests. Under national guidelines, some people should be referred for an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy within two weeks.

General tests to view your overall health, such as a chest x-ray and a blood test are likely to be conducted. The main test used to obtain a diagnosis of stomach cancer is an endoscopy. An endoscopy is a piece of equipment with a video camera on the end. It allows medical professionals to examine the stomach and look for signs of cancer. In some cases a biopsy may be performed at the same time, removing potentially cancerous cells for further examination.

After a gastric cancer diagnosis, it is then important to stage the cancer, although this isn’t always possible. This could include additional tests such as a CT scan, liver ultrasound scan, or a laparoscopy to see if the cancer has spread beyond the stomach.

Read less

Can stomach cancer be misdiagnosed?

Stomach cancer misdiagnosis can occur, particularly during the early stages as the symptoms often reflect other conditions that are more common. The misdiagnosis of stomach cancer can have a serious impact on the extent of the surgery required for treatment and in some cases may mean that the cancer can no longer be cured.

There have been cases where stomach cancer has been misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a stomach ulcer, a virus, and other less serious conditions. A misdiagnosis means that there is often a delay in treatment starting that can have a long-term impact on the patient’s health and the success of treatment undertaken.

How is stomach cancer treated?

Once stomach cancer has been diagnosed you will recommended treatment options. Most hospitals now use a team consisting of a number of different specialists to create a plan for your personal circumstance. Treatment for stomach cancer will vary from patient to patient and consider how advanced the cancer is, your general health and other factors to create the best treatment for stomach cancer in your case. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or a combination of these three treatments is the most commonly used.

Surgery

If stomach cancer is diagnosed at an early stage it may be possible to completely remove the cancer with surgery. When used for gastric cancer treatment, surgery can range from having part of the stomach removed to a total gastrectomy.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses cancer-killing drugs to stop abnormal cells from multiplying as a treatment for stomach cancer. It’s often used before surgery to shrink the size of a tumour and make the operation easier to perform.

Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy is only used for stomach cancer treatment in rare cases, as there is a risk of it affecting other organs that are close to the stomach. Radiotherapy uses beams of high-energy radiation to destroy cancerous cells.

If there isn’t a stomach cancer treatment that can cure the disease in your case then a treatment plan will focus on minimising the side effects of cancer and slowing its progression. Stomach cancer surgery to ease symptoms can be done if food is causing blockages that result in pain or vomiting. Chemo can also be used to slow the progression of cancer and ease symptoms that a patient may be experiencing, as can radiotherapy.

Read less

What are the different types of stomach cancer?

There are different types of stomach cancer depending on where the cancer first started but more than 95% of stomach cancers are adenocarcinoma. Adenocarcinoma starts in the glandular cells of the stomach lining but it can spread for there to affect other areas. The tests to diagnose different forms of stomach cancer can vary, as can the best course of treatment for each type.

Less common types of cancer that can start in the stomach include:

  • Soft tissue sarcomas, which affects the tissue that supports and protects the body’s organs.
  • Gastrointestinal stomach tumours, a specific type of soft tissue sarcoma that develops in the digestive tract.
  • Lymphomas, which affect the lymphatic system, part of the body’s immune system.
  • Carcinoid or neuroendocrine tumours that develop from cells of the neuroendocrine system. These cells are found in the stomach, as well as other parts of the body such as the bowel or lungs.

What is the stomach cancer survival rate?

Statistics of stomach cancer show that in 2014 there were over 6,600 diagnosed cases of the disease in the UK alone. Around 15% of those diagnosed survive their diagnosis by 10 years or more and around three-quarters of cases are classified as preventable. However, the statistics and outlook for stomach cancer depends on many factors, including how quickly it is diagnosed and the general health of each patient.

While the average is that 3 in 20 people diagnosed with stomach cancer will survive their disease for 10 years, there are huge variances in age categories. The stomach cancer survival rate 10 years after diagnosis among those aged 15-39 is around 33% but for those aged 80 and over this falls to 10%. Across all age categories the survival rate for stomach cancer is improving, in the 70s just 5 in 100 people would have survived their disease for more than a decade.

Stomach cancer, sometimes referred to as gastric cancer, is cancer that starts in the stomach but it can spread to other parts of the body as it moves into the later stages. 

All forms of cancer start when cells begin acting abnormally and multiplying uncontrollably. These cells can then form masses, called tumours. In some cases, it’s not known what causes the cells to change and become cancerous. However, stomach cancer differs from many others forms of the disease as a high portion of cases can be attributed to lifestyle factors that can be changed to reduce the risk of the disease developing.

If you experienced stomach cancer misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis you may be able to make a compensation claim. In order to be successful, a claim will need to demonstrate that you received substandard treatment from the healthcare system and that you have suffered a worse outcome as a result.  

A failure to diagnose stomach cancer claim can arise out of many different circumstances. For instance, if you visited your GP and had the symptoms which should have been recognised as possibly stomach cancer but you were not referred you for the further tests. Alternatively, you could have a claim if your test results showed that cancerous cells were present but these were read wrong or were not adequately followed up. Stomach cancer malpractice can also go beyond misdiagnosis. For example, if you received a poor level of treatment after undergoing surgery for stomach cancer.

The amount of compensation you could receive as part of a stomach cancer misdiagnosis payout varies from case to case. The amount is calculated based on each individual case and the impact the misdiagnosis has had. Stomach cancer is serious and failing to detect it during the early stages can mean it spreads and becomes untreatable, in such a  case the compensation received will be more than a case where surgery can still remove the cancerous cells from the stomach.

When assessing the value of your claim will look at the additional and avoidable suffering caused by the misdiagnosis as well as financial losses such as how it’s affected your ability to work and your family’s needs.

If you believe you have a failure to diagnose claim, whether for stomach cancer or another condition, we recommend that you start the investigation as soon as possible. This not only means your case will be concluded sooner, it helps with recalling the details of your symptoms and treatment that will support your claim. Documents and records are also easier to obtain if you start the process sooner rather than later, speeding up the claims process.

That being said, you do have 3 years to make a medical compensation claim in Court. The time limit starts from the ‘date of knowledge’, this refers to when you first realised that there was a problem. For stomach cancer misdiagnosis compensation this could be when you receive an accurate diagnosis, which can be sometime after first visiting the GP. Alternatively if your case centres on not receiving the best treatment for your case, the ‘date of knowledge’ can start even later.

Stomach cancer is the 16th most common cancer in the UK but around three-quarters of cases could be avoided by changes in lifestyle. Stomach cancer causes include:

  • Diet– Research has linked several dietary factors to an increased risk of developing stomach cancer. These include eating too few fruits and vegetables, eating a high portion of processed meats, and eating foods that are high in salt. According to Cancer Research UK diets with high amounts of salt cause around a quarter of stomach cancer cases.
  • Smoking– It is believed that that around 1 in 5 cases of stomach cancer is linked to smoking tobacco. The risk of stomach cancer developing is linked to the number of cigarettes smoked per day.
  • Being overweight– The evidence linking stomach cancer to being overweight or obese is uncertain but some research does suggest that having a high BMI can increase the risk of stomach cancer.

However, not all stomach cancer is linked to lifestyle choices and in these cases, the exact cause is not always known. Around half of people that develop cancer are over the age of 75 and it’s more common for men to get the disease, with men almost twice as likely to develop stomach cancer when compared to women.

Other stomach cancer causes and risk factors include:

  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Heavily drinking alcohol
  • Weakened immune system
  • Low amounts of stomach acid
Read less

During the early stages of the disease, stomach cancer symptoms can be very similar to those of less serious conditions. This can mean gastric symptoms of cancer can be overlooked and lead to a misdiagnosis of the disease.

Early stage symptoms of stomach cancer include:

  • Persistent indigestion
  • Trapped wind and frequent burping
  • Heartburn
  • Felling full very quickly when eating
  • Feeling bloated after eating
  • Feeling sick
  • Pain in your stomach or breastbone
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Vomiting

As the disease progresses the symptoms of cancer in the stomach can become more obvious and less likely to be confused with other conditions. Advanced gastric cancer symptoms include:

  • Blood in your stools
  • Loss of appetites
  • Weight loss
  • Tiredness
  • Lumpiness and swelling in your stomach
  • Anaemia
  • Jaundice, the yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes

Signs and symptoms of stomach cancer should be examined by your GP, especially if they are persistent, however, stomach cancer is rare and it’s unlikely that signs, such as indigestion, are due to cancer. Despite this, it's recommended you visit your GP as soon as possible because stomach cancer is easier to treat the earlier it is diagnosed.

Read less

The first step to a stomach cancer diagnosis is to visit your GP. Your GP should speak with you about your symptoms and carry out an examination of your stomach, checking for tenderness and lumpiness. If they should suspect stomach cancer you will be referred to a specialist for further tests. Under national guidelines, some people should be referred for an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy within two weeks.

General tests to view your overall health, such as a chest x-ray and a blood test are likely to be conducted. The main test used to obtain a diagnosis of stomach cancer is an endoscopy. An endoscopy is a piece of equipment with a video camera on the end. It allows medical professionals to examine the stomach and look for signs of cancer. In some cases a biopsy may be performed at the same time, removing potentially cancerous cells for further examination.

After a gastric cancer diagnosis, it is then important to stage the cancer, although this isn’t always possible. This could include additional tests such as a CT scan, liver ultrasound scan, or a laparoscopy to see if the cancer has spread beyond the stomach.

Read less

Stomach cancer misdiagnosis can occur, particularly during the early stages as the symptoms often reflect other conditions that are more common. The misdiagnosis of stomach cancer can have a serious impact on the extent of the surgery required for treatment and in some cases may mean that the cancer can no longer be cured.

There have been cases where stomach cancer has been misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a stomach ulcer, a virus, and other less serious conditions. A misdiagnosis means that there is often a delay in treatment starting that can have a long-term impact on the patient’s health and the success of treatment undertaken.

Once stomach cancer has been diagnosed you will recommended treatment options. Most hospitals now use a team consisting of a number of different specialists to create a plan for your personal circumstance. Treatment for stomach cancer will vary from patient to patient and consider how advanced the cancer is, your general health and other factors to create the best treatment for stomach cancer in your case. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or a combination of these three treatments is the most commonly used.

Surgery

If stomach cancer is diagnosed at an early stage it may be possible to completely remove the cancer with surgery. When used for gastric cancer treatment, surgery can range from having part of the stomach removed to a total gastrectomy.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses cancer-killing drugs to stop abnormal cells from multiplying as a treatment for stomach cancer. It’s often used before surgery to shrink the size of a tumour and make the operation easier to perform.

Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy is only used for stomach cancer treatment in rare cases, as there is a risk of it affecting other organs that are close to the stomach. Radiotherapy uses beams of high-energy radiation to destroy cancerous cells.

If there isn’t a stomach cancer treatment that can cure the disease in your case then a treatment plan will focus on minimising the side effects of cancer and slowing its progression. Stomach cancer surgery to ease symptoms can be done if food is causing blockages that result in pain or vomiting. Chemo can also be used to slow the progression of cancer and ease symptoms that a patient may be experiencing, as can radiotherapy.

Read less

There are different types of stomach cancer depending on where the cancer first started but more than 95% of stomach cancers are adenocarcinoma. Adenocarcinoma starts in the glandular cells of the stomach lining but it can spread for there to affect other areas. The tests to diagnose different forms of stomach cancer can vary, as can the best course of treatment for each type.

Less common types of cancer that can start in the stomach include:

  • Soft tissue sarcomas, which affects the tissue that supports and protects the body’s organs.
  • Gastrointestinal stomach tumours, a specific type of soft tissue sarcoma that develops in the digestive tract.
  • Lymphomas, which affect the lymphatic system, part of the body’s immune system.
  • Carcinoid or neuroendocrine tumours that develop from cells of the neuroendocrine system. These cells are found in the stomach, as well as other parts of the body such as the bowel or lungs.

Statistics of stomach cancer show that in 2014 there were over 6,600 diagnosed cases of the disease in the UK alone. Around 15% of those diagnosed survive their diagnosis by 10 years or more and around three-quarters of cases are classified as preventable. However, the statistics and outlook for stomach cancer depends on many factors, including how quickly it is diagnosed and the general health of each patient.

While the average is that 3 in 20 people diagnosed with stomach cancer will survive their disease for 10 years, there are huge variances in age categories. The stomach cancer survival rate 10 years after diagnosis among those aged 15-39 is around 33% but for those aged 80 and over this falls to 10%. Across all age categories the survival rate for stomach cancer is improving, in the 70s just 5 in 100 people would have survived their disease for more than a decade.