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Missed ovarian cancer claims &
misdiagnosis compensation

How much can you claim?

A 32 year old woman was forced to undergo a total hysterectomy and colonoscopy after test results were underreported. She was awarded:

£107,000

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Claiming for ovarian cancer negligence

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

Being diagnosed with ovarian cancer is a very troubling experience. If you believe that there has been a delay in your diagnosis you should speak to a specialist medical negligence solicitor as delay in the diagnosis of ovarian cancer  can significantly impact the ultimate success of treatment.

Most patients in the UK receive an excellent standard of care and treatment when being treated with ovarian cancer. But for the few that don’t, it can leave them in worse position, feeling let down by the professionals who should be supporting them. While it can’t reverse the damage that has been done, ovarian cancer misdiagnosis claim can help those affected by providing financial support during a difficult time and giving them answers. Bringing a medical negligence claim  can be a daunting prospect but with the help of Your Legal Friend’s specialist cancer misdiagnosis lawyers, you can rest assured that your case will be handled professionally and with respect at all times.

Should you decide to take your ovarian cancer misdiagnosis claim forward, our team of expert solicitors will be on hand throughout the investigation . We know what a difficult time this can be and will use our experience of working on medical negligence claims to offer guidance and support from beginning to end.

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

The time limit on making an ovarian cancer claim

If you believe you could make a claim for missed ovarian cancer diagnosis  you must do so within 3 years from the ‘date of knowledge’, or date of diagnosis of cancer. The time limit begins when you first have knowledge that you were misdiagnosed, received a poor level of treatment, or experienced another type of medical negligence.

We understand that making a compensation claim after a misdiagnosis of ovarian cancer may be the last thing on your mind. But making a claim earlier can help your case and allow you to receive the compensation you deserve quicker. Acting as soon as possible not only means that the details of your experience and treatment are still fresh in your mind but makes accessing records and scans to support you claim easier. With the support of our ovarian cancer misdiagnosis lawyer you’ll be able to take your claim forward and have expert guidance every step of the way.

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

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 ovarian 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 ovarian cancer misdiagnosis?

If a GP or specialist failed to spot the signs or symptoms of ovarian cancer and  the treatment you received was below standard, you may be able to make a failure to diagnose ovarian cancer claim. In order to be successful you will need to prove that the care you received was not what should be expected and that you suffered a worse outcome as a result. The reasons for making an ovarian cancer misdiagnosis claims can vary but include:

  • A delay in diagnosis after your GP failed to identify the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer and refer you to a specialist.
  • Failure to order the necessary tests or these tests being read wrong, leading to misdiagnosis.
  • The treatment option recommended to you not being correct for your situation or the risks of treatment, especially surgery, not being adequately explained.
  • Poor treatment, such as infections occurring after surgery due to care falling below the standards that should be expected.

How much compensation will I get?

Compensation received for ovarian cancer malpractice varies from case to case, taking into account the impact medical negligence has had on a patient. For instance, cancer that was misdiagnosed and left untreated and spread to other parts of the body, requiring more extensive treatment, will receive more compensation than less serious cases. Ovarian cancer claims take many factors into consideration when being valued, from whether surgery now means a woman cannot carry a child to financial losses due to not being able to work.

When you choose to work with Your Legal Friend we will listen to your experience and take the time to understand your case. From this we will then value your claim, reflecting the negative experience you’ve had and it’s long-term implications.

How long do I have to make a claim?

If you want to make a claim for compensation for delayed ovarian cancer diagnosis, including ovarian cancer, you must do so within the time limit for medical claims. You have 3 years from the date you realised a mistake had been made. This often gives patients more time to start the process but can make pinpointing the time limit difficult. If you’re unsure whether you can still make a failure to diagnose ovarian cancer claim, our team is on hand to support and offer guidance.

Whatever your situation we recommend that you start the claims process and speak to a professional as soon as possible. This not only means you can receive you ovarian cancer compensation if successful quickly but also makes accessing the records to support you case easier.

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

What is ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer is cancer that begins in the ovaries. There are several different types of ovarian cancer but epithelial ovarian cancer, which affects the surface layer of the ovaries, is the most common. It is the fifth most common cancer among women.

The ovaries are the small organs that are responsible for releasing an egg once a month in the female reproductive system. Ovarian cancer occurs when cells within the ovaries began to grow abnormally and uncontrollably, leading to tumours forming. In the UK there are around 7,100 cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed each year.

What causes ovarian cancer?

Like all forms of cancer, ovarian cancer starts with the mutation of the structure of the DNA in cells. This can lead to cells growing uncontrollably and forming a mass, known as a tumour. Ovarian cancer starts in the ovary. Several different factors have been identified as possible causes of ovarian cancer and can increase someone’s risk of the disease developing and spreading to other parts of the body, including the pelvis and abdomen.

In many cases, the exact causes of ovarian cancer is unknown but there are risk factors of ovarian cancer, including:

  • Age – The risk of ovarian cancer increases with age. It’s very rare for a woman under 40 to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and more than 8 out of 10 cases will occur in women over 50.
  • Family history – Having close relatives who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or breast cancer can indicate that you are at greater risk of developing the condition. However, only around 1 in 10 cases of ovarian cancer has a genetic link.
  • Ovulation and fertility – Ovulation can lead to the surface of the ovary becoming damaged, increasing the chance of abnormal cell growth. It may be for this reason that women who take the contraceptive pill or have multiple pregnancies are less at risk of developing ovarian cancer.
  • Hormone replacement therapy – There is a slight increase in the risk of developing ovarian cancer if a person is taking hormone replacement therapy or has been doing so within the last 5 years.
  • Endometriosis – A condition called endometriosis can also increase the risk of ovarian cancer.

What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

The early signs of ovarian cancer can be difficult to recognise as they tend to be mild and as a result diagnosed as other, less serious conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This can make receiving an accurate diagnosis during the early stages of the disease a challenge and means keeping an eye on the symptoms of ovarian cancer to see if they change or worsen is important.

There are three main ovarian cancer symptoms that many women diagnosed with the disease experience. They are:

  • Increased abdominal size and persistent bloating
  • Persistent pelvic and abdominal pain
  • Difficulty eating and feeling full quickly, or feeling nauseous

There are other signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer but these are less common and not every woman with the disease will experience them. They include:

  • Back pain
  • Needing to pass urine more frequently
  • Pain during sex

While these are only signs of ovarian cancer, these symptoms can be the result of other pelvic conditions. However, it is important to visit your GP if the symptoms for ovarian cancer occur regularly, defined as on most days for 3 weeks or more. The NHS recommends that patients keep a diary to record the potential ovarian cancer signs to better see how persistent the symptoms are and help the GP understand your situation.

How is ovarian cancer diagnosed?

When you initially see your GP they will conduct a physical examination, feeling your abdomen, and ask you questions about your symptoms, general health, and family history of cancer. In some cases, an internal examination, blood test or ultrasound may also be carried out. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence sets out how quickly patients should be referred for further tests if its suspected they have ovarian cancer, in some cases this should be done urgently.

A blood test for ovarian cancer which looks at a protein called CA125 in the blood should be done if you frequently experience bloating, feeling full quickly, pelvic or abdominal pain, or the need to urinate urgently or frequently. CA125 is produced by some types of ovarian cancer and high levels may indicate the disease is present; however, it doesn’t detect all types of ovarian cancer and can signify other conditions, including endometriosis or pregnancy. Both external and internal ultrasounds can be used for ovarian cancer diagnosis by showing the size and texture of the ovaries, identifying swellings and abnormalities.

Once diagnosed you may need further tests for ovarian cancer staging, to see how large the cancer is and if it has begun to spread. These tests could include:

  • Chest X-ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • Abdominal fluid aspiration
  • Laparoscopy

Ovarian cancer stages are designed to support doctors in the decision-making process where your treatment is concerned, helping them recommend the most effective option in each case. While the tests aim to stage the cancer after diagnosing ovarian cancer this isn’t always initially possible and the full scale of the cancer may not be known until surgery is carried out.

Can ovarian cancer be misdiagnosed?

You should be able to rely on an accurate ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment when visiting a doctor but unfortunately this isn’t always the case and misdiagnosis of ovarian cancer can occur. The symptoms of ovarian cancer can be mild initially and are easy to mistake for other conditions, leading to a missed or delayed diagnosis.

Ovarian cancer misdiagnosis can mean that the cancer continues to develop and spread because the treatment needed isn’t started, resulting in the likelihood of treatment working decreasing. It can also mean that more extensive surgery is required, possibly resulting in the need to remove the womb rather than just the ovaries and fallopian tubes, meaning a woman can no longer carry a pregnancy.

  • Ovarian cancer misdiagnosed as diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a digestive condition that affects the large intestine and causes abdominal pain and bloating, common symptoms of ovarian cancer. Diverticulitis itself can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms mimic other conditions and GPs must often rule out other causes through blood tests.

  • Ovarian cancer misdiagnosed as IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is thought to affect up to 1 in 5 people at some point in their life and the signs of the digestive condition, stomach cramps and bloating among them, can mean patients are initially wrongly diagnosed as having IBS when they have ovarian cancer. Guidelines recommend that women with symptoms suggesting IBS and aged over 50 are tested for ovarian cancer.

  • Ovarian cancer misdiagnosed as endometriosis

Endometriosis affects around 2 million women in the UK and is a condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb is found outside of the womb. The condition has some similar signs to that of ovarian cancer and can also lead to a raise CA125 levels, a protein that can indicate ovarian cancer.

  • Ovarian cancer misdiagnosed as PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects how a woman’s ovaries work. While the main symptoms of PCOS don’t mimic ovarian cancer, it can be mistaken for the disease, especially if the necessary tests are not carried out.

  • Ovarian cancer misdiagnosed as fibroids

Fibroids are non-cancerous tumours in or around the womb. Some of the symptoms are similar to ovarian cancer. Fibroids can also raise CA125 in the blood, an indicator of ovarian cancer, which can lead to the conditions being confused unless further testing is carried out.

  • Ovarian cancer misdiagnosed as UTI

Urinary tract infections (UTI) are common infections that can affect the bladder and kidneys. Symptoms can mimic those of ovarian cancer but the antibiotics prescribed won’t relieve the signs and this should serve as a indicator that more tests should be conducted.

  • Ovarian cancer misdiagnosed as cyst

Cysts are usually harmless and disappear without treatment, they are fluid-filled sacs that can develop on the ovaries. Cysts can be diagnosed using an ultrasound scan and if there is a concern that the cyst is cancerous your GP should arrange a blood test but on rare cases that can be overlooked, resulting in delayed diagnosis.

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

How is ovarian cancer treated?

Once you’ve been diagnosed with ovarian cancer your care and treatment will be the responsibility of a multi-disciplinary team. Working together they will recommend treatment for ovarian cancer based on your personal situation but the final decision on the treatment remains with the patient.  

The team in charge of your treatment will take a range of factors into consideration when creating a treatment plan, including your general health and whether fertility is an issue. If the stage of the cancer has been calculated at this point it will also be a contributing factor to your treatment but it isn’t always possible to tell initially. Ovarian cancer treatment options include:

  • Surgery

Surgery is the most common ovarian cancer treatment and most women diagnosed with the disease will be considered for surgery. How extensive the surgery is will depend on the stage of the cancer, it can range from removing one ovary to the need to have both ovaries, fallopian tubes and womb removed. In cases where the cancer has spread it may also be necessary to remove lymph nodes from the pelvis and abdomen.

  • Chemotherapy

The use of anti-cancer drugs is often used in conjunction with surgery to treat ovarian cancer. Chemotherapy can shrink the size of a tumour, making it easier to remove during the surgery, and can also be used after surgery to kill cancerous cells that remain.

  • Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy isn’t commonly used as a treatment of ovarian cancer but it is occasionally recommended under some circumstances.

What are the different types of ovarian cancer?

There are 3 different types of ovarian cancer, though one – epithelial ovarian cancer – accounts for around 90% of total cases. The different types are defined by where the cancer initially started.

The types of ovarian cancer include:

  • Epithelial ovarian cancer

For every 100 cases of ovarian cancer around 90 are epithelial, meaning the cancer started in the surface layer that covers the ovary. Epithelial cancers are further broken down into types, including serous, which makes up around a third of cases, although some cannot be classified as the cells are too undeveloped to tell exactly where the cancer started. The main treatment option used for epithelial cancer is a combination of surgery and chemotherapy but researchers are currently looking at if the sub-types should each be treated differently.

  • Germ cell cancer

Germ cell cancers begin from the cells that make the eggs, it’s a very rare form of cancer, accounting for just 1 to 2% of ovarian cancers. Again, the most common type of treatment for this cancer is surgery and chemotherapy.

  • Borderline ovarian tumours

Borderline ovarian tumours, so-called because they do not grow into the supportive tissue of the ovary, can usually be treated with just surgery. The cancer often grows slowly, meaning it’s typically diagnosed during an early stage before it can spread to other parts of the body.

What is the ovarian cancer survival rate?

The ovarian cancer survival rate has increased by almost 30% in the last 3 decades, with 72% now surviving their disease by a year or more. The figure now stands at 46% and 35% for 5 and 10 years respectively. While these figures are averages, there are lots of factors that can affect ovarian cancer life expectancy, including age and the stage of cancer at diagnosis.

According to Cancer Research UK, five-year survival for ovarian cancer is highest among young women and decreases with age. Some 87% of those aged under 40 will survive their disease for more than five years, while the figure falls to 20% for those aged over 80. Ovarian cancer statistics show that 99% of patients diagnosed during stage 1 of the disease will survive their disease for at least one year, a significant difference to the 51% that do if cancer isn’t diagnosed until stage 4.