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Kidney cancer misdiagnosis &
renal cancer compensation

Kidney cancer misdiagnosis & renal cancer compensation

How much can you claim?

A 41 year old man was underwent a transplant procedure where he was mistakenly given a cancerous kidney, forcing him to undergo dialysis and radiotherapy. He was awarded:


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Claiming for kidney cancer negligence

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

Kidney cancer treatment is becoming more effective and those diagnosed with the disease often go on to live for many years after their diagnosis. But despite this a cancer diagnosis is terrifying for anyone to hear. For individuals that have been affected by medical negligence, it can mean that they not only feel let down by the health care system but that their prognosis and treatment options have changed as a result of the delays.

Kidney cancer misdiagnosis is a serious issue and can have an impact on the survival rate if it means that the cancer is able to further grow and spread to other parts of the body. When you have cancer, you should be able to rely on those responsible for your treatment to provide an acceptable  level of care, right from the beginning when you first visit your GP with concerns to undergoing surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Where this hasn’t occurred and you believe medical negligence has caused you avoidable  suffering you may be able to make a misdiagnosis of kidney cancer compensation claim.

We understand that after a diagnosis, during treatment, and even as you recover starting a  claim can seem daunting. But it doesn’t need to add to the pressure and can help you move forward. With the support of our expert medical negligence solicitors, our clients are able to take a claim forward against those responsible for their suffering. If successful, these claims not only result in financial compensation but can help patients understand why they were let down.

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

The time limit on making a kidney cancer claim

If you decide to take a medical negligence claim forward, there is a time limit. However, the time limit starts from the ‘date of knowledge’ rather than when you first began treatment. This means you have three years to make a kidney cancer misdiagnosis clam from the date that you realised you had been let down by the health care system that is  received a level of care that was below acceptable standards and caused you an injury. Identifying the ‘date of knowledge’ can be difficult in some cases, particularly if they are complex and have been ongoing over months.

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.

If you’re unsure about whether you can still make a compensation claim, we can help you understand your personal situation. Our expert team of solicitors with experience representing medical negligence cases have the knowledge and skills to assess your misdiagnosed kidney cancer lawsuit and how to take the next step.  

Where possible we recommend that you start the compensation process as quickly as close to the ‘date of knowledge’ as you can. Whether your claim is due to misdiagnosed kidney cancer, a delay in receiving a diagnosis, or another form of medical negligence, we’ll work with you to make the process as easy and smooth as possible.

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

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 kidney 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 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 kidney cancer 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 kidney cancer misdiagnosis?

It is possible to make a claim for kidney cancer misdiagnosis if you have been injury as a result.  In order for your claim to be successful you will need to demonstrate that medical professionals not only missed an opportunity to achieve an accurate diagnosis but that the delay also caused you undue suffering. A variety of evidence must be obtained in a medical negligence investigation , such as witness statements, expert medical reports and medical records.

This evidence could show:

  • That you presented your GP with the signs and symptoms of renal cancer but they did not conduct an examination they should have
  • That there was a failure to order the appropriate further tests after observing the symptoms
  • That further testing was conducted but these results were read incorrectly
  • That testing showed abnormalities that should have been followed up but were not
  • That there was an unnecessary delay in the referral process

If you want to find out whether  you have  case due to  misdiagnosis of kidney cancer, we can help you. We’ll listen to your experiences and use our knowledge to help you take the next steps.

How much compensation will I get?

In terms of the amount of compensation a claim will receive it varies depending on individual circumstances. Each claim will look at how the person taking a claim forward has been affected in a variety of ways, this could include:

  • Whether the cancer progressed or spread due to a delay in treatment
  • How it affected treatment options open to the patient
  • Whether the misdiagnosis of kidney cancer caused undue suffering and stress
  • Whether more extensive surgery is now required
  • How it has impacted on finances, for instance, the need to pay out extra medical costs or a loss of earnings

While it’s impossible to say how much your kidney cancer malpractice claim could be worth without understanding your circumstances, our team are able to calculate a value. Using their experience representing those that have been affected by medical negligence, our specialist solicitors will give your claim a value that fully reflects your experiences and how a late kidney cancer diagnosis has affected you.

Medical negligence claims can amount to thousands. In fact, in 2014 the NHS paid out over £194 million to just 1,302 patients. A tenth of these payouts were given after doctors failed to diagnose cancer despite an opportunity to do so.

How long do I have to make a claim?

All medical claims are subject to a time limit, including kidney cancer claims. If you want to take start a  claim  you have 3 years to do so from the point that you realised that you had  been injured due to mistakes in your care.

Time begins to run from  the ‘date of knowledge’.. This point often gives patients extra time to take a claim forward but it can make understanding the cut-off point difficult. In complex cases, where multiple misdiagnoses may have been given, the ‘date of knowledge’ can be months or even years after the initial GP or hospital visit. If you believe you have a kidney cancer  negligence case and would like to know if you still have time to investigate it, seeking legal advice can help. Here at Your Legal Friend we will  use our professional knowledge to help you understand if you have a claim and take the next steps if you do.

While legally you have a maximum of 3 years to bring forward kidney cancer misdiagnosis claims, where possible we advise those affected to start the process as soon as they can.

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

What causes kidney cancer?

In most cases it isn’t possible to identify the cause of kidney cancer but the disease has been linked to some risk factors that can indicate you’re more likely to develop the disease. Among the risk factors are:

  • Being obese – It’s estimated that being very overweight causes around a quarter of kidney cancers because it results in changes in hormones in the body.
  • Smoking – Smoking is linked to many types of cancer, including in the kidneys. On average, smokers have a 50% increase in their risk of developing the disease but this can vary depending on the number of cigarettes smoked.
  • Long-term kidney disease – Dialysis for long-term kidney disease and failure can increase the risk of developing cysts on the organs, which in turn can increase the risk of cancer developing.
  • Inherited genes and conditions – In rare cases, kidney cancer is more likely to develop due to the inheritance of faulty genes or conditions. Among conditions that may be linked to kidney cancer are Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, Tuberous sclerosis, and Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome.

What are the symptoms of kidney cancer?

Renal cancer typically has no obvious symptoms during the early stages and is often only picked up when tests are being carried out for other reasons. Even if signs or kidney cancer are present they are often similar to other, less serious, conditions, resulting in a misdiagnosis.

Signs of kidney cancer often only appear after the disease has advanced or spread to other areas of the body and may include:

  • Blood in your urine
  • A persistent pain the lower back or side
  • A lump or swelling in the side
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Persistent high blood pressure
  • Night sweats
  • A high temperature
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Bone pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • In men, swelling of the veins in the testicles

In many cases these symptoms are not due to kidney cancer but another condition. However, the NHS recommends that patients make an appointment with their GP should they experience the signs of renal cancer.

How is kidney cancer diagnosed?

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms and signs of kidney cancer making an appointment with a GP should be the first step to a renal cancer diagnosis.

During your appointment your doctor will ask you about the symptoms you’ve been experiencing and may ask about your family history. They may also carry out an examination to feel for lumps or swellings and take a urine sample and blood sample for further testing. The tests aim to rule out other potential causes of the signs of renal cancer and highlight when further testing may be needed.

Following a referral you will have a series of tests that can confirm kidney cancer. These tests may include:

  • Ultrasound scan
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • Cystoscopy – where a tube is passed up the urethra, allowing a doctor to examine the bladder
  • Biopsy – where a small sample of cells are removed from the kidneys for further testing

If you are diagnosed with cancer of the kidneys, the disease will then be staged. This process indicates how larger the tumour is and whether it has spread to other areas of the body. The stage of kidney cancer can affect the treatment that will work best in your case.

Can kidney cancer be misdiagnosed?

Due to the symptoms of kidney cancer being mild to begin with and often not being present until the later stages, it is possible for renal cancer to be misdiagnosed. The misdiagnosis of kidney cancer can have a serious impact on the treatment options available to a patient and the prognosis.

  • Kidney cancer misdiagnosed as a urinary tract infection

During the early stages it’s possible for kidney cancer to be misdiagnosed as a urinary tract infection (UTI) due to symptoms being similar. In many cases treatment for a UTI involves antibiotics and the symptoms are normally gone within a week. Therefore, persistent signs that are associated with a UTI should be tested further.

  • Kidney cancer misdiagnosed as kidney stones

Kidney stones also have some of the same symptoms as kidney cancer, including a persistent ache in the lower back and blood in the urine. While this may result in kidney cancer at first being labelled as kidney stones, testing, such as urine tests or blood tests, should highlight that this is not the issue.

  • Kidney cancer misdiagnosed as a kidney cyst

Kidney cysts are fluid-filled sacs on the kidneys. If lumps are present when you have renal cancer, medical professional may believe you have cysts. The growth of cysts in the kidneys can also cause other problems, including symptoms that mimic those of kidney cancer.

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

How is kidney cancer treated?

Treatment of kidney cancer has several different options and if you’ve been diagnosed with the disease a team of professionals will recommend a plan for you. The recommendations will depend on a variety of factors, including whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body and how large the tumour is.

Treatments aims to cure the cancer completely but where this isn’t possible there are options for slowing the spread of the disease and relieving symptoms.

Main renal cancer treatment options include:

  • Surgery

Surgery aims to remove the cancerous tissue. It can involve a partial nephrectomy, where just a portion of the affected kidney is removed, or a radical nephrectomy, where an entire kidney is removed. Even if it’s necessary to remove a whole kidney it’s possible to live a normal life following the procedure.

  • Ablation therapies

Ablation therapies work by destroying the cancerous cells, either by freezing or heating them. It’s typically a treatment option that is recommended only if the tumour is small in size or under certain circumstances, such as it being vital that the kidney continues to work.

  • Biological therapies

Biological or targeted therapies are medications that can help stop the cancer from growing or spreading further. It’s usually an option when the cancer has reached an advanced stage. The NHS currently recommends several different biological therapies for renal cancer for routine use.

  • Embolisation

If kidney cancer has reached an advanced stage or you’re not a suitable candidate for surgery, the team responsible for your care may suggest embolisation. It’s a process that involves cutting off the blood supply to the tumour, causing it to shrink.

  • Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy is usually only used in renal cancer cases if a complete cure isn’t an option. The radiation given during the treatment can slow the progress of the disease and help to alleviate symptoms.

What are the different types of kidney cancer?

In the UK over 10,000 people are diagnosed with kidney cancer each year and around 90% of all cases are renal cell cancers. This means the cancer starts in the cortex of the kidney, the part of the organ that filters blood and removes unwanted substances. Renal cell cancers are further split down, with the most common type being clear cell renal cancer, other types include:

  • Papillary renal cell cancer
  • Chromophobe renal cell cancer
  • Collecting duct renal cell cancer

It is also possible for cancer of the ureter and renal pelvis or transitional cell cancer to develop in the kidneys but these are less common. In very rare cases young children and adults may develop a type of kidney cancer called Wilms' tumour.

The type of kidney cancer you have is important to diagnose as it can have an effect on which treatment options will work the most effectively.

What is the kidney cancer survival rate?

Generally the prognosis for kidney cancer diagnosis is good. According to statistics from Cancer Research UK, more than 70% of people diagnosed with kidney cancer in England and Wales will survive their diagnosis by more than a year. Furthermore almost 60% do so for five years and around half survive their disease by a decade or more.

There are many factors that affect cancer survival rates, including the age of the patient and how quickly the disease was diagnosed. While there are no UK wide statistics to show survival rates dependent on the stage of the cancer there are figures for one area of England. According to these kidney cancer statistics, people diagnosed during the earliest stage have an 80% chance of beating their cancer for more than 5 years, while those not diagnosed until stage 4 have just a 5% chance.