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Bowel cancer misdiagnosis claims &
colon cancer compensation

Bowel cancer misdiagnosis claims & colon cancer compensation

How much can you claim?

A 63 year old woman died as a result of a delay in diagnosis of bowel cancer. Her husband was awarded:

£150,000

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


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Claiming for bowel cancer negligence

Bowel cancer can be a life changing diagnosis but devastating if you’ve faced medical negligence as well

Discovering you have bowel cancer, (also referred to as colon cancer or colorectal cancer), can be devastating at any time. But if misdiagnosis or negligent delay has occurred it can be even more difficult to deal with. Thankfully most patients receive excellent care when they need visit their doctor with symptoms or require treatment, but those that don’t can be left feeling unsure who to trust and where to turn to next.

Being a victim of bowel cancer misdiagnosis can lead to patients feeling vulnerable, unable to speak out or even embarrassed, but this shouldn’t be the case. You should be able to rely upon those responsible to listen to your medical concerns and take the necessary steps to help you. If you experienced delays, complications, or are mistreated when you had bowel cancer, you can take action. You have the right to receive an explanation as to why things have gone wrong and if you have suffered an injury as a result, you have a right to receive compensation.

If you’ve been affected by medical negligence while fighting bowel cancer, Your Legal Friend could help you secure the compensation and justice that you need deserve to reflect the suffering you’re endured. While each individual case is different, our professional, expert team can guide you throughout the process. We know that compensation won’t right the wrongs you have experienced but it can help you take a step forward. After suffering negligent treatment for bowel cancer, you may need additional care, or treatment, money to cover outgoings and bills while you recover and compensation can help to pay for these, without adding to existing worries or concerns.

Here at Your Legal Friend we pride ourselves on working with those affected by medical negligence, ensuring the best possible outcome in each case. Our skills have been used in a wide range of medical negligence claims, including those of bowel cancer misdiagnosis or where bowel cancer signs and symptoms have been missed despite seeing medical professionals. Throughout your case we will work on your behalf to provide the support and expertise that you need and ensure you have access to a cancer misdiagnosis lawyer.

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

The time limit on making a bowel cancer claim

If you’ve been affected by a medical professional’s failure to diagnose bowel cancer it may be possible to make a compensation claim. However, there is a time limit on when you can begin a claim, and for this reason, it’s often best to start your case as soon as possible.

If you’ve experienced medical negligence while displaying bowel cancer symptoms or didn’t receive the level of care you should be able to expect, you can make a claim up three-years after the ‘date of knowledge’. This means the time limit starts from when you learnt of a medical mistake rather than when you first attended the doctors or were diagnosed, for example. In some cases, it can be difficult to tell if your case falls within the allowed time limit but if you’re unsure you can contact our knowledgeable team today to discuss your situation and potential to make a bowel cancer misdiagnosis claim.

It is possible to make a compensation claim at any time during this three-year period, however, it should be noted that it is easier to access the required paperwork to build you a strong case if you make the claim sooner. It will also mean that the details are still fresh in your mind and other witnesses. We know that after fighting colorectal cancer you’ll need to recover and relax, but with our professional support, we’ll ensure that it’s as stress-free as possible for you.

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 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 bowel 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 bowel 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 bowel cancer case. Our bowel cancer negligence team is headed by Laura Morgan who has a wealth of experience in leading complicated, high value misdiagnosis and 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. 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.

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

Means you pay nothing if you lose your case, but get maximum compensation if you win. It’s also known as a CFA or Conditional Fee Agreement; by agreeing you pay nothing upfront in terms of legal costs, nor do you anything if you lose.

Our no win, no fee agreement is especially useful for those already in financial difficulty due to increased care costs or inability to work due to symptoms or treatment. To find out more, take a look at our guide to no win, no fee agreements.

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

Frequently asked questions

What is the bowel cancer negligence claims process?

Making a bowel cancer claim with us usually follows 10 simple steps, which begins with obtaining medical records, statements, and establishing what breach of duty occurred and what effect it had. As well as this, we establish your loss, including lost earnings (past and future) and the cost of lifestyle adaptions such as additional treatment and home accessibility. For a small number of cases, this process may include going to court but this is rare and we will ensure your case fully prepared for this scenario.

Can I claim for bowel cancer misdiagnosis?

Yes, it is possible to make a compensation claim for bowel cancer if you’re misdiagnosed, suffered a delay in diagnosis, were treated incorrectly or poorly. In order to make a successful claim you’ll need to be able to demonstrate that you received a level of care that is sub-standard to what you should be able to expect, this could include tests not being ordered when you presented the signs of colon cancer or a delay in receiving the treatment you need.

Here is some more detail of what you could make a bowel cancer claim for:

  • Misdiagnosis

There are several different conditions, such as IBS or haemorrhoids, which have similar symptoms to bowel cancer. This means that unless the doctor is thorough with their questioning and conducts the necessary tests it’s possible for bowel cancer to be misdiagnosed as one of these. Misdiagnosed bowel cancer means you won’t receive the medical treatment and care that you need and can affect the odds of surviving the disease significantly, especially if the cancer further develops before the correct diagnosis is given. If you went to your GP with bowel cancer symptoms and do not feel they took the steps they should have to diagnose you, you could have a compensation claim.

  • Delay in treatment

A delayed diagnosis of bowel cancer can mean a delay in beginning treatment for your condition. In some cases, you may experience a delay in treatment even if you were diagnosed quickly. Efficient and effective treatment can have a huge impact on the success of the medical care, and if you’ve experienced a delay in your bowel cancer treatment we may be able to help you make a compensation claim. The story of Mr Lapworth’s experience of claiming on behalf of his wife reveals just how much impact delays in treatment can have.

  • Incorrect treatment

Your treatment for bowel cancer should depend on your individual circumstances and be decided by a team of medical professionals. However, if the wrong choice is made it can mean the chances of success are lower. Colon cancer treatment should give you the best chance possible to beat the disease and if this hasn’t been the case you may be able to make compensation against those responsible for the decision.

  • Poor treatment

If you’ve been diagnosed with bowel cancer you should be able to expect the team responsible for your care to treat you properly. Poor treatment can lead to other issues that can impact your health as well as your mental wellbeing. For instance, if you underwent surgery but were not adequately looked after following it you could, for example, pick up an infection that hinders your recovery.

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

How much bowel cancer misdiagnosis compensation will I get?

The amount of compensation you will receive if you experienced bowel cancer medical negligence will depend on your case and individual circumstances; however, we can give examples from other cases to give you an idea.

A 63 year old woman experienced a delay in diagnosis of bowel cancer, despite a history of ulcerative colitis and the acknowledge links between the conditions from her doctor. Unfortunately, the delay meant the cancer had spread to other areas of her body and was too advanced for treatment. Her husband was awarded £150,000 in compensation.

If you take your claim forward, we will calculate the value of your claim based on several different factors as well as general damages for the pain and suffering the negligence has resulted in. We will also consider areas such as the impact the negligence has had on your quality of life, the effect on your earnings and the potential need to pay for care in the future.

Once your claim has been valued, you will then need to prove your losses to the court to be successful. Financial losses are quantifiable in some cases, such as through financial documents and payslips. In other cases, you can show your medical treatment record to support your claims, such as those indicating the level of pain you were experiencing at the time.

How long do I have to make a bowel cancer claim?

Under the law, you have to make a bowel cancer claim within three years from the ‘date of knowledge’, but we recommend that you begin the claims process as soon as possible. While it’s likely you have other things on your mind and want to focus on your treatment and recovery, it can make it easier as all the details will still be fresh in your mind.

The ‘date of knowledge’ can mean it’s confusing to understand if you have a claim. For instance, if you first attended the doctors but were misdiagnosed and then were later diagnosed with bowel cancer, you will be able to make a claim three years after you were diagnosed and realised that there has been a mistake. In some cases, you may not realise that a mistake has been made for some time and this can make the law around this difficult. If you’re unsure whether you have a potential claim that is inside the three-year limit, you can contact us to discuss you case.

Can bowel cancer be misdiagnosed?

In some instances, colon cancer misdiagnosis can occur, as the symptoms can be confused with other conditions or the correct tests are not ordered. It’s estimated that across all types of cancer around 10% of cases are initially misdiagnosed. This means a delay in treatment and can potentially have a significant impact on survival rates and the type of treatment that is needed.

  • Colon cancer misdiagnosed as diverticulitis

Diverticulitis affects the large intestine, or colon, and has symptoms that are also associated with bowel cancer, such as abdominal pain and feeling bloated.  This means that unless your GP conducts the necessary tests to rule out bowel cancer, it can be mislabelled as diverticulitis.  

  • Colon cancer misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a common digestive problem that causes bouts of symptoms such as bloating and diarrhoea or constipation. The symptoms can vary from mild to severe but in some cases bowel cancer can wrongly by diagnosed as IBS. If the symptoms are mild, it can mean that a doctor doesn’t link the signs with cancer at first but believes it is IBS.

  • Colon cancer misdiagnosed as ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease, the symptoms tend to flare up and are similar to those of bowel cancer, including abdominal pain and recurring diarrhoea. Ulcerative colitis is often misdiagnosed as colon cancer and vice-versa, as a result of the similar symptoms.

  • Colon cancer misdiagnosed as haemorrhoids

Haemorrhoids, or piles, are swellings containing enlarged blood vessels that are found inside or around the rectum. As bowel cancer can also cause swelling this can mean bowel cancer is misdiagnosed as haemorrhoids. However, piles aren’t typically associated with other symptoms of colon cancer.

In order to prevent misdiagnosis there should be steps that GPs and other medical professionals take. Diagnosis of colon cancer will include a digital rectal examination conducted by the GP. If the symptoms suggest that you do have colon cancer a colonoscopy or computerised tomography colonography can be used to conduct a more extensive examination of the colon. Once bowel cancer is confirmed it’s likely that further testing will be carried out to see if the cancer has spread.

What are the symptoms of bowel cancer?

There are signs of colorectal cancer that should signal that you should visit your doctor to undergo tests for bowel cancer.  The symptoms of colon cancer include:

  • Bleeding from the rectum or blood in the stools which often looks like coffee grounds
  • A change in normal bowel habits
  • A lump that your doctor can feel in your rectum or stomach, more commonly on the right side
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating that is brought on by eating

More than 90% of those suffering with bowel cancer experience with a persistent change in bowel habit, blood in their stool or abdominal pain and those with these symptoms should visit their GP if they persist for more than 4 weeks. Unfortunately, some of the signs of bowel cancer can be misinterpreted for other conditions, such as IBS or haemorrhoids, leading to a delay in diagnosis and treatment.

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

How is bowel cancer caused?

Bowel cancer has many causes, such as age, diet and whether or not you smoke or drink. However, the only causes of bowel cancer that have a bearing on whether or not you can claim are:

  • Family history – if you have two or more first-degree relatives (parent, sibling or child) that have had bowel cancer, or one relative with a genetic condition linked to bowel cancer, you may have a higher risk of developing the condition yourself. Genetic conditions including Lynch Syndrome (also known as HNPCC), FAP (Familial Adenomatous Polyposis) and MAP (MUTYH Associated Polyposis) also increase your risk.
  • Pre-existing conditions – ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are known to increase the risk of bowel cancer.

If you have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, or have explained your family history of bowel cancer, and your healthcare professional did not carry out appropriate tests, you may have had your treatment delayed and as such could make a bowel cancer claim. 

How is bowel cancer treated?

The treatment for colon cancer varies depending on a number of factors, including how advanced it is and which part of the bowl is affected. If it’s caught during the early stages, there is a very good chance that treatment will be successful and prevent bowel cancer coming back in the future. However, a cure isn’t always possible.

If you’ve been diagnosed with bowel cancer you’ll be cared for a multidisciplinary team that will decide on your personal treatment, considering a variety of factors. Your bowel cancer treatment may combine chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and biological treatments, but surgery is the main treatment for most colorectal cancer.

If you have received treatment for bowel cancer that was inappropriate for your condition, or have been misdiagnosed and received unnecessary treatment, you may be able to make a medical negligence claim.

How long does it take for bowel cancer to develop?

Cancer initially starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. These abnormal cells start to grow into polyps which than take around 10 to 15 years before they turn into colon cancer. It is possible for polyps to be picked up and removed before they become cancer through regular pre-screening tests. Those that are at an increased risk of developing bowel cancer, such as having a family history of the disease, may be invited to such screenings.

What are the survival rates of bowel cancer?

As with other forms of cancer, the survival rate for colon cancer is improving every year. According to Cancer Research, men have a 77% chance of beating the disease, while women have a 74% chance. The colon cancer survival rate can vary depending on how quickly the cancer is identified and treatment begins. Some 98% of patients that are diagnosed during the initial stages survive the disease for at least one year but this falls to 40% when diagnosed at stage 4.