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Sarcoma misdiagnosis
& bone cancer claims

Sarcoma misdiagnosis & bone cancer claims

How much can you claim?

A 12 year old boy was not referred to a consultant for eight months after developing Ewing's sarcoma, causing further pain and disability. He was awarded:


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Claiming for bone cancer negligence

Medical negligence whilst uncommon can have a big impact on your life and wellbeing.

Medical advancements mean patients who are promptly diagnosed with bone cancer can often have effective treatment and a long life expectancy. If you believe that your diagnosis or treatment for bone cancer has been delayed your recovery may be affected and you could have a medical negligence claim.

If you believe that you have  been let down by your healthcare professionals in your diagnosis and treatment of bone cancer we can help. You may be able to bring claim for medical negligence. We know that starting a claim at an already difficult time can seem like a daunting prospect but we can help you through the process. Here at Your Legal Friend we work with those affected by medical negligence, including the misdiagnosis of bone cancer, to gain answers and to hold those responsible to account. We could help you too, using our skills and expertise to secure you the best possible outcome in your case.

We know that cancer misdiagnosis doesn’t just affect your physical health but has an impact on all aspects of your life. While every misdiagnosis case is different, our knowledgeable and friendly team will work with you every step of the way to support your case, using our experience in the area to work on your behalf. From the very beginning of you failure to diagnose claim for bone cancer we will be by your side and on hand to offer guidance and support when you need it.

For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today  0808 301 8622    As seen on TV

The time limit on making a bone cancer claim

If you would like to make a bone cancer malpractice claim, or any other type of medical claim, you do need to be aware that there is a time limit. From the diagnosis of cancer  you have 3 years to bring your compensation claim forward. In legal terms, the starting point of the time limit is referred to as ‘date of knowledge’.

While you do have 3 years from this point to make a missed bone cancer diagnosis compensation claim, we suggest that you start the process as soon as possible. If you’re undergoing treatment for bone cancer or recovering we understand that it can be the last thing on your mind. But starting it sooner rather than later can help you case. It means that the details of your symptoms, experience and treatment are still fresh in your mind, supporting your witness statement, and accessing supporting documentation, such as medical records and scans, is often easier the closer the claim is made. Not only does it make the process easier it also means it can be concluded quicker, allowing you to receive your compensation sooner, if successful, and move forward.

In some cases the time limit can be difficult to understand, for instance if your case is complex and you were misdiagnosed several times. A failure to diagnose bone cancer claim is serious and we can help you pinpoint the ‘date of knowledge’  and take the next step in your claim.

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. 

Throughout your claim, Your Legal Friend will help you every step of the way

  • Specialist team of cancer negligence solicitors
  • A wealth of knowledge and expertise
  • Advice, support and guidance throughout your claim
  • No win, no fee – guaranteed
  • Over 30 years’ experience in personal injury compensation
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

Our bone cancer negligence experience

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 bone cancer negligence case.

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

If you’d like advice as to whether you might be able to pursue a cancer negligence claim, either call our freephone number or submit your details through the form on this page and we’ll be in touch to schedule a phone call at a time that’s convenient for you. If you decide that you’d like to start a claim, one of our medical malpractice lawyers will be able to tell you whether you can enter into a No Win, No Fee agreement*, meaning that in the event that your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t have to pay any legal costs so there’s no financial risk to you.

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

*Our No Win, No Fee agreement

Pay nothing if you lose your case, get maximum compensation if you win

Whatever the nature of your bone cancer negligence claim, we always seek the maximum level of compensation for our clients – and if your case is unsuccessful, we don’t charge you any fees. This is our guarantee for all standard bone cancer negligence claims.

With our no win, no fee guarantee, you pay nothing, unless you win your compensation claim. At that point you will only pay your insurance premium, if applicable, and the success fee, which will never be more than 25% of the amount you win.

No Win, No Fee Solicitors

Start your claim in 10 minutes

For a FREE, confidential, no-obligation assessment of your claim, simply complete this short form. We aim to call you back within 10 minutes.

For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today  0808 301 8622    As seen on TV

The bone cancer negligence claims process

Step 1 - Obtaining your medical records

We ask you to sign forms of authority so that we can obtain your medical records from your GP and any hospitals that have treated you.

Step 2 - Providing your statement of what happened

As the medical experts we instruct need to know what happened during your treatment, we work with you to draft a detailed, accurate statement in your own words.

Step 3 - Minimising your loss

You are responsible for minimising the losses you have incurred as a result of the alleged medical negligence, so you need to attend any available treatments that could aid your recovery. You may also need to return to work as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Step 4 - Establishing that a breach of duty occurred

You must prove that the treatment you received fell below the standard expected of a reasonably competent and skilful medical specialist of the type who treated you and that, as a result, you suffered a loss or injury. To do this, we obtain independent medical evidence from an expert in the appropriate area of medicine.

Step 5 - Establishing the effect of the breach of duty

We have to establish whether the sub-standard treatment you received is likely to have led to your injury or loss.  As this can be difficult to establish, you may need to see one or more medical experts who will assess your current condition and what the future holds for you.

Step 6 - Calculating the value of your claim

The value of your claim comprises:

  • general damages for the pain, suffering and impact of the negligence on your daily life both now and in the future
  • actual financial losses such as loss of earnings, cost of care, medical and travel expenses.

Step 7 - Proving your loss

You need to keep all original financial documents safe as these will be needed when we prepare your case to go to Court. These documents include accounts, payslips, and receipts for expenses and medical treatments.

Step 8 - Preparing your case for Court

Although only a small number of cases proceed to a trial, we prepare every case for this eventuality.

Step 9 - Attending the trial in Court

The trial takes place before a Circuit or High Court judge who will make a decision based on the evidence we have prepared.

Step 10 - Awarding your compensation claim

If you win your case, the amount of compensation will be decided by negotiation with the defendant or, if your case goes to trial, by the judge. The defendant will usually be ordered to pay us the costs we have incurred in preparing your case. We will also agree a date by which your compensation will be paid to us so that we can pay your compensation as quickly as possible.

Frequently asked questions

Can I claim for bone cancer misdiagnosis?

To  succeed  you  need to show  misdiagnosis caused you undue suffering and that your outcome has been made worse as s result. For example:

  • Demonstrating that you visited the GP with the signs of bone cancer but were not adequately examined or referred.
  • Showing that the necessary test results were not ordered or followed up after signs suggested that cancer could be present.
  • Showing that the test results were read inaccurately and you were misdiagnosed as a result.

There are other forms of medical negligence that can occur when you are suffering with bone cancer too. This could include the incorrect treatment being recommended for your circumstances or a poor level of care following surgery.

How much compensation will I get?

Bone cancer misdiagnosis claims vary in value and the amount of compensation you could receive if successful depends upon the pain and suffering you personally have endured. For instance, if a misdiagnosis of bone cancer meant you required more extensive surgery and amputation, you would be entitled to more compensation than someone who still had the option of limb-sparing surgery.

When you first start a failure to diagnose bone cancer claim your case will be given an indication of the likely level of compensation but this may change as your cases progresses depending upon what aspects of your treatment were negligent and how you are recovering. We will work with you to fully understand your situation and accurately value your claim.

How long do I have to make a claim?

If you believe you have a bone cancer misdiagnosis compensation claim, or any other type of medical negligence claim, you have 3 years to act. The starting point of this time limit is the ‘date of knowledge’, referring to the date upon which your cancer was diagnosed.

It can be difficult to work out if some cases fall within the 3-year limit because of the ‘date of knowledge’ reference. If you’re unsure we can help you better understand your situation and see if you can take a step towards a successful medical negligence claim.

For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today  0808 301 8622    As seen on TV

What is bone cancer?

Primary bone cancer is cancer that begins in the bones, while there is also secondary bone cancer, where cancer has spread to the bone after beginning in another part of the body, the treatment for this can vary significantly. Primary bone cancer is rare in the UK, with just 550 patients diagnosed each year.

What causes bone cancer?

As with all type of cancer, bone cancer is caused by cells that begin to act abnormally, multiplying uncontrollably. These cells can then form masses, known as tumours, and become cancerous.

While it’s not always known why bone cancer develops, there are some bone cancer causes that can indicate you’re more likely to develop the disease. Causes of bone cancer include:

  • Radiotherapy treatment – Previous radiotherapy treatment, such as when used to cure other forms of cancer, can cause cells within the bones to become cancerous, although the risk is small.
  • Other bone conditions – Research has linked some non-cancerous bone conditions with an increased likelihood of cancer developing. These include Paget’s disease of the bone and Ollier’s disease.
  • Genetic condition – Li-Fraumeni is a rare genetic condition that can increase the risk of bone and other types of cancer forming.
  • A history of certain other conditions – Research also shows that retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer, shares the same inherited faulty gene that can lead to bone cancer. As a result people who developed retinoblastoma as a child may be more predisposed to bone cancer. Babies born with umbilical hernia are also three times more likely to develop a type of bone cancer known as Ewing sarcoma.

Some types of cancer are more likely to occur in different age groups. For instance, while chondrosarcomas are more likely in those that are middle aged or elderly, Osteosarcoma is more common in children.

What are the symptoms of bone cancer?

Bone cancer symptoms can vary from patient to patient and depend on a number of factors, including the stage that the cancer is at and where it is located in the body.

Among the symptoms for bone cancer is bone pain, this is usually the first sign of cancer. Typically the bone pain will start as tenderness around the affected bone where the tumour has formed. As the cancer develops the pain is likely to gradually become worse, becoming a persistent ache or an ache that comes and goes. Bone cancer can occur in any bone in the body but it’s more common in the long bones of the legs and upper arms. The signs and symptoms of bone cancer can often be mistaken for other conditions, being dismissed as arthritis in adults and growing pains in children.

Other initial symptoms of cancer of the bone may include swelling around the area and problems with movement, where the tumour is getting in the way or swelling around a joint is affecting mobility. Cancer of bones symptoms may also mean a weakening of the bone, resulting in fractures occurring more easily.

Less common signs of bone cancer also occur, such as a fever, unexplained weight loss and sweating, particularly during the night. While the NHS notes that the associated symptoms and signs of bone cancer are often related to another condition when a patient notices them, the organisation states that an appointment with a GP should be made if persistent, severe or worsening bone pain is experienced.

How is bone cancer diagnosed?

Bone cancer diagnosis should start with a visit to your GP. If you’re experiencing the symptoms of the disease, particularly bone pain, your doctor should examine the affected area and ask you about the symptoms. If your doctor is concerned its likely that you will then be referred for an x-ray, which will highlight abnormal areas within the bone.

Diagnosing bone cancer is usually the responsibility of an orthopaedic surgeon, a specialist in bone conditions, and should an x-ray show problems you will be referred. Other diagnostic tests for bone cancer include a biopsy, where a small sample of cells is removed for further testing, MRI scan, CT scan, bone scan, and bone marrow biopsy.

There is currently no screening for bone cancer where people can be diagnosed with the disease during the early stages of the disease before symptoms become present. However, people that are more likely to develop bone cancer may be recommended to have regular x-rays to highlight potential tumours.

Once you have been diagnosed, health professionals will assess the bone cancer stages, which describe how far the cancer has developed and whether or not it has spread.

Can bone cancer be misdiagnosed?

It is possible for bone cancer to be misdiagnosed in both adults and children. Bone cancer misdiagnosis is serious as it can mean a significant delay in treatment beginning and affect the success of the outcomes.

  • Bone cancer misdiagnosed as arthritis

In adults the pain, swelling, and difficulty moving that bone cancer can cause can be mislabelled as arthritis initially as the symptoms can be similar. However, persistent pain should be examined and referred for further testing to rule out other causes, which should then highlight that a misdiagnosis has occurred.

  • Bone cancer misdiagnosed as growing pain

In children it is possible for the signs and symptoms of bone cancer to be diagnosed as simple growing pains. However, growing pains should not be persistent and further tests should be conducted if this is the case.

For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today  0808 301 8622    As seen on TV

How is bone cancer treated?

When you are diagnosed with bone cancer your care will be the responsibility of a multidisciplinary team, a group of experts in different fields that will work together to create a treatment plan with your situation in mind. Bone cancer treatment varies from patient to patient and considers a wide range of factors, such as the stage of the cancer, where the bone cancer is located, and your general health.

Treatment for bone cancer usually involves one of the following options or a combination of them:

  • Surgery

Treatment of bone cancer can include surgery to remove the part of the bone that has been affected. In the majority of cases limb-sparing surgery is now possible, although around 10% of patients that undergo surgery for bone cancer will need an amputation. The permanent removal of a limb may be required if the cancer has spread to blood vessels or nerves, an infection was picked up after limb-sparing surgery, or limb-sparing surgery is not possible where the cancer has developed, such as in the ankle.

  • Chemotherapy

Bone cancer treatment options include chemotherapy. It can be used in combination with both surgery and radiotherapy and the option that is chosen will depend on your personal situation. It can be used to shrink to the size of the tumour and prevent the cancer from returning, as well as relieving symptoms when a cure is not possible.

  • Radiotherapy

If you require surgery, radiotherapy can be used both before and after for the treatment of bone tumours. Where a cure is not possible it can also be used to control the symptoms of the disease and slow its progression.

In some cases there are bone cancer treatment drugs that may be effective. If you have osteosarcoma you may be able to take medication called mifamurtide. It’s usually given after surgery and alongside chemo to prevent the cancer from returning.

What are the different types of bone cancer?

There are several different types of bone cancer, the type you have should be identified at the diagnostic stage and it can have a significant impact on the treatment that is recommended for you. The types of bone cancer include:

  • Osteosarcoma

This type of cancer is most common among teenagers and young adults. While it can occur anywhere in the body it’s most common in the lower thigh, shin bone, and upper arm.

  • Ewing’s sarcoma

Ewing’s sarcoma is most common in teenagers, although it can affect people of any age. It usually starts in the pelvis, thigh, and shin bone.

  • Chondrosarcoma

While a relatively rare form of bone cancer, chondrosarcoma is most often found in those aged over 40. It affects the cartilage cells and leads to cartilage forming where it wouldn’t normally, such as inside the bone or on the surface. It most commonly forms in the pelvis, thigh bone, upper arm, shoulder blade, and ribs.

There are also other, rare types of bone cancer and in some cases it isn’t possible to differentiate the type of cancer because the affected cells are undeveloped.

What is the bone cancer survival rate?

The survival rate of bone cancer depends on a wide number of factors, including the stage at which it’s diagnosed and the type of cancer you are diagnosed with. Around 60% of people diagnosed with primary bone cancer will outlive their diagnosis by 5 years or more, with treatment more likely to be successful if the cancer is diagnosed before it has spread to other parts of the body.

The type of cancer also has a significant impact survival rate of bone cancer, for example Ewing’s sarcoma can still respond very well to treatment even if the disease has spread to other areas of the body. 

Ostemosarcoma – Around 90% of those diagnosed at a low grade stage will survive their diagnosis by 5 years or more, while 60% will do so for high grade osteosarcomeas but this falls to 25% if the cancer has affected another part of the body.

Ewing’s sarcoma – If Ewing’s sarcoma is localised and hasn’t spread many patients will be fully cured, with 70% outliving their diagnosis by at least 5 years. However, if it’s spread to other bones or the bone marrow, this falls to 20%.

Chondrosarcoma – The grade of the cancer at the time of diagnosis is an important factor in the survival rate of chondrosarcoma. Overall, at least 80% will survive for a decade or more after treatment.