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Failure to diagnose a brain tumour
& brain cancer misdiagnosis claims

Failure to diagnose a brain tumour & brain cancer misdiagnosis claims

How much can you claim?

A 20 year old woman was compensated for a number of debilitating conditions caused by an undiagnosed and untreated brain tumour. She was awarded:


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Claiming for brain cancer negligence

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

Discovering that you or a loved one has brain tumour can be a terrifying experience but when diagnosed in the early stages there is a good chance of beating the disease. While most patients in the UK receive an excellent level of care when after they are diagnosed with cancer in the brain, there are some that are let down by the healthcare system, either by a delay in diagnosis or poor treatment after diagnosis. This can  leave the vulnerable and ill in a worse condition at a time when the have to rely upon their health professionals.

The speed at which cancers is diagnosed, including brain tumours, can have a significant effect upon a patient’s chances of successful treatment. Therefore if you think that you have suffered a misdiagnosis of brain cancer there can be serious implications for your ultimate outcome. It may be that you could make a claim for medical negligence. We know that bringing a compensation claim can be a daunting prospect when you need to focus on your recovery or treatment.

If you have suffered an injury as a result of medical negligence you can recover financial losses and a sum of money to compensate you for your pain and suffering. We will also try to find out why you were let down, and hope that this will prevent it happening to anyone else. A failure to diagnose brain cancer claim doesn’t have to add extra stress and pressure during an already difficult time, in fact, our team of expert brain cancer misdiagnosis lawyers will take as much of the stress out of your hands as possible.

Late diagnosis of cancer compensation can mean that a patient gets the answers they need to move forward. Financial compensation can also give you more freedom as you recover or undergo treatment and relieve money concerns. When you work with Your Legal Friend we will work tirelessly on your behalf to secure the best possible outcome in your case.

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

The time limit on making a brain cancer claim

If you would like to make a medical compensation claim for the misdiagnosis of brain cancer, we can help you. You must start the claims process with 3 years from the diagnosis which is usually the ‘date of knowledge’. This point refers to the date that you initially realised that you had been misdiagnosed or received treatment that was not of the level you should be able to expect.

In a failure to diagnose claim it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint this ‘date of knowledge’ as they are often complex cases and it can occur sometime after you first visited the GP with concerns. If you’re unsure whether you can still make a claim, we can help you understand your situation and explain what your next steps should be. Our team of professional and experienced medical negligence solicitors will be able to offer insight and guidance using their knowledge of the legal system and medical claims.

While you can start a medical negligence claim in Court up to 3 years after the date of knowledge, we suggest that you speak to a solicitor as soon as possible. Your case has to be investigated and we need to  obtain documents, such as medical records and scans, and these can be easier to access the sooner the process begins. As part of the investigation  you will also be required to give a witness statement and if this is conducted closer to the ‘date of knowledge’ it can ensure that the details of your symptoms, treatment and experiences  are still clear in your mind.

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

To make a successful compensation claim for cancer misdiagnosis you must be able to prove that healthcare professionals failed to treat you to an acceptable standard and as a result  you  suffered additional injury.  For instance, this could include demonstrating that test results were read inaccurately or that the appropriate tests were not ordered for the symptoms that you had. Medical Negligence  claims can take many forms, to discuss your experiences and see if you have a potential case, you can contact us today.

How much compensation will I get?

Compensation for delayed brain cancer diagnosis or misdiagnosis varies according to what the individual has suffered. The amount awarded to each patient depends upon the physical and emotional suffering they have personally enduring as a result of the negligence. Other factors, such as earnings lost and care needed will also be considered when the amount of compensation is calculated.

How long do I have to make a claim?

If a misdiagnosed brain tumour, or another form of medical negligence, has affected you, we can help you make a compensation claim. However, you must start the process within 3 years from the ‘date of knowledge’, or the point at which you first realised a mistake had been made. This can occur when an accurate diagnosis has been made and can even be after treatment has begun in the case of delayed diagnosis.

You can make a claim at any point within these 3 years but we recommend you get in touch with our team of experienced brain cancer misdiagnosis lawyers as soon as possible. This not only means the process will conclude sooner but can make it easier to access documents to support your case, such as medical records, and for you to recall details. If you’re unsure whether you have a misdiagnosis of cancer compensation claim that falls within the time limit, you can talk to us today.

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

What is brain cancer?

Brain cancer is a tumour that starts in the brain. Brain tumours are referred to as benign, where they are non-cancerous, or malignant. Malignant brain tumours are a form of fast growing cancer that can quickly spread to other areas of the brain and the spine.  In the UK, around 9,400 people are diagnosed with tumours that started in the brain, central nervous system or within the skull each year and around half of these are cancerous.

What causes brain cancer?

The causes of brain cancer are not always known. However, some primary malignant brain cancers, which start in the brain, are caused by previously benign tumours becoming cancerous.

Causes of brain tumours are often unknown but there are risk factors that can indicate the disease is more likely to develop. These include:

  • Age – While brain tumours can occur at any age they are more common in people aged over 50.
  • Family history – Those with a family history of brain cancer and tumours within their family are at a slightly higher risk
  • Radiotherapy – Previous exposure to radiotherapy, such as to treat another form of cancer, can increase the risk of some types of brain caner developing.
  • Genetic conditions – There are some conditions that have been linked to the likelihood of brain tumours developing, more commonly in children and young adults. These conditions include neurofibromatosis type 1 and 2, tuberous sclerosis, Turcot syndrome and others.

It’s also possible for brain cancer to be secondary, where it has developed after cancer has spread from another area of the body. Most brain cancer is secondary and the result of cancer travelling through the bloodstream. Cancers that can spread to the brain include those that start in the lungs, breasts, and bowel.

What are the symptoms of brain cancer?

Early symptoms of a brain tumour can be hard to detect, as signs often aren’t obvious until the tumour becomes big enough to put pressure on the brain or prevent an area from functioning properly. Brain cancer symptoms also vary depending on the size of the tumour and the area of the brain where it has developed.

Early symptoms of brain tumours usually arise from an increase pressure within the skull, this can lead to:

  • Severe and persistent headaches
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Vision problems, including blurred vision, loss of vision, and floaters
  • Seizures that can affect the whole body or just one area

The brain controls the functions of the body and where the pressure is taking place can have a large impact on the brain tumour symptoms each patient experience. For instance, signs of a brain tumour in the parietal lobe can include aphasia, numbness and weakness in one side of the body, while a loss of co-ordination may indicate a tumour in the cerebellum area of the brain.

How is brain cancer diagnosed?

If you visit you GP with the symptoms of a malignant brain tumour your doctor should speak with you about the signs and conduct an examination. This could include a neurological examination, where a serious of tests are carried out on your nervous system, such as testing reflexes and limb strength.

If your doctor has concern and suspects a tumour you will be referred to a brain and nerve specialist, known as a neurologist, for a brain cancer diagnosis. A neurologist can use a number of different tests to achieve a brain tumour diagnosis, including a CT scan, a MRI scan and an EEG. If after these tests a tumour is suspected a biopsy will be conducted. This is where a sample of tissue is removed for further testing in a laboratory, allowing professionals to assess if the tumour is cancerous and the type of tumour, which is important for selecting the best treatment.

Brain tumours are graded from 1 to 4 depending on behaviour, such as how fast they grow. Those that are graded 1 or 2 are classed as benign and non-cancerous. While stage 3 brain cancer is malignant, as is a stage 4 brain tumour.

Can brain cancer be misdiagnosed?

It is possible for brain cancer to be misdiagnosed. The varied symptoms, depending where in the brain the cancer is growing, can mean the signs are missed. Brain tumour misdiagnosis is serious, as malignant tumours typically grow and spread fast. Surgery is often the best treatment option for brain tumours but if the cancer has become too large or spread it can be impossible, resulting in the disease becoming incurable. As a result, it’s vital that doctors recognise the potential symptoms and order the necessary tests efficiently.

Some of the conditions that a misdiagnosed brain tumour can inaccurately be labelled as include:

  • Brain tumour misdiagnosed as stroke

Tumours adding pressure to some areas of the brain can lead to symptoms that mimic the signs of a stroke, such as confusion, problems with balance, and severe headaches. It can lead to a misdiagnosed brain tumour initially, however, further testing should mean healthcare professionals realise a mistake has been made.

  • Brain tumour misdiagnosed as migraine

Severe and persistent headaches are often the first sign of brain cancer a patient notices. However, it is possible for this symptom to be attributed to migraines, especially as there is no specific test to diagnose migraines. This means that if your doctor doesn’t order tests to rule out brain cancer you may receive a delayed diagnosis.

  • Brain tumour misdiagnosed as MS

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord. Some of the symptoms of MS are similar to those of brain tumours and each person is affected different, making it hard to diagnose. Again, there is no single test to diagnose MS but a neurologist should recognise the signs and order the appropriate tests to rule our brain tumours if necessary.

  • Brain tumour misdiagnosed as sinusitis

If the early symptoms of a brain tumour are mild and relatively new, it is possible for them to be inaccurately diagnosed as viral infection sinusitis. However, sinusitis usually begins to improve within 3 weeks and persistent symptoms should signal that further testing is needed.

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

How is brain cancer treated?

If you’re diagnosed with a brain tumour that is malignant and cancerous you will need treatment. This usually consists of surgery and is sometimes complemented with either or both radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Your brain tumour treatment will be recommended by a group of different specialists. This team will recommend the treatment that they believe is the best option for you, considering factors such as where the cancer is developing and how fast it is growing. However, after discussing the brain cancer treatment options with you, the final decision will be yours to make.

The main treatment for brain tumours include:

  • Surgery

Most people that have a malignant brain tumour will be recommended surgery. Brain tumour surgery aims to remove as much of the cancerous mass as possible. Surgery is often followed up with radiotherapy or chemotherapy treatment. While brain tumour removal is often recommended if the cells are cancerous, it’s not always possible due to the size and position of the tumour.

  • Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy can be an effective brain cancer treatment option. It can be used to kill cancerous cells both after surgery and as the main treatment when a tumour is difficult to remove.

  • Chemotherapy

Like radiotherapy, chemotherapy can be used after surgery to kill any cancerous cells that remain. When a cure is not possible chemo brain tumour treatment can also be used to help relieve the symptoms of brain cancer.

Following brain cancer treatment you may need further treatment and follow-up appointments to carefully monitor your condition. Malignant brain tumours can often come back and as a result you should have scheduled appointments to discuss symptoms and, in some cases, have a brain scan.

What are the different types of brain cancer?

The brain is a complex area of the body and is made up of many different types of cells. As a result there are around 130 different types of brain tumours, each originating from a different cell. Most tumours develop in glial cells, those that support the nerve cells of the brain, but there are also different types of gliomas cancers. Around 25% of brain tumours in adults start in the tissues covering the brain.

It’s not always possible to find out the type of brain cancer you have. This can be due to a range of factors, including a surgeon being unable to operate on the tumour due to its location. All brain tumours are also split into two categories – benign or malignant.

Benign – Tumours that are stage 1 or 2 are classed as benign and non-cancerous. While not cancerous there is potential for the masses to become cancer and treatment is often still recommended. However, benign tumours grow relatively slowly, are unlikely to spread, and are unlikely to come back if removed.

Malignant – Malignant tumours are those that are categorised as stage 3 or 4. These tumours are cancerous and can’t be treated with surgery alone. They are also at a greater risk of coming back following surgery and spreading to other parts of the brain or spinal cord.

What is the brain cancer survival rate?

Across all types of cancerous brain tumours around 40% of adults outlive their diagnosis for more than a year and 15% do so for more than a decade. Around 65% of children diagnosed with brain cancer will survive their disease by 5 years or more after diagnosis. However, the survival rate of brain cancer varies depending on many differing factors, including age, with those that are younger standing a better chance of beating the disease.

The brain cancer survival rate varies hugely depending on the type of brain tumour a patient has, as well as the stage at which it is diagnosed. Brain cancer statistics from Cancer Research UK show that even when the cancer begins in the same type cell the survival rate for brain cancer can vary. Due to the complex nature of brain surgery, the position in the brain, size, and shape of the tumour also affects the survival rate, as all these factors impact on the ability to conduct surgery.