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Prostate cancer misdiagnosis &
prostatectomy compensation

Prostate cancer misdiagnosis & prostatectomy compensation

How much can you claim?

A 79 year old man's prostate cancer diagnosis was delayed by 2 years due to a doctor's error. He was awarded:


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Claiming for prostate cancer negligence

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

While a prostate cancer prognosis doesn’t usually mean the need for extensive treatment and survival rates are very good, it’s still a scary experience. When it’s diagnosed during the earliest stages, prostate cancer means that patients have a good chance of living with the disease and, in many cases, will simply need to actively monitor the disease rather than undergoing treatment.

However, experiencing misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can have a significant impact on how the cancer spreads and develops. You should be able to rely on medical professionals to treat you properly, take your concerns seriously and follow-up with the necessary tests. If this hasn’t been the case and you’ve experienced medical negligence it can  mean that you now need further treatment and that  your confidence in those who  are responsible for you care has been shaken.

Here at Your Legal Friend we understand how medical negligence can leave you feeling and are here to offer you guidance when making a prostate cancer misdiagnosis compensation claim. With the support of our professional and expert team we will work with you to secure you the best outcome possible in your case. Guided by our  specialist solicitors you can  take a step towards understanding what went wrong in your case and  compensation. We know that financial compensation won’t make up for the treatment you received but it can help you on the road to recovery.

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

The time limit on making a prostate cancer claim

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

From the point that you realised there had been a mistake or misdiagnosis you have 3 years to make a compensation claim. Compensation for delayed prostate cancer diagnosis claims start from this ‘date of knowledge’ or the date of diagnosis rather than when you visited your doctor or began treatment. This can make knowing the time limit for each individual case confusing but we can help you better understand you case and how to take the next step.

You can make a compensation claim for misdiagnosis of prostate cancer at any point during the 3-year time limit. However, we suggest that you begin the process as soon as possible. This not only means you can access the financial compensation as soon as possible but that the details of your case and experience are still fresh in your mind. To support your case, we’ll need to access your records and files too and these can be easier to obtain if the process starts sooner rather than later.

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

The earlier prostate cancer is diagnosed the better the chance of surviving the disease and avoiding serious treatment that could have significant side effects. If you experienced a delayed diagnosis or were misdiagnosed initially and have had a worse outcome as a result you may be able to make a missed prostate cancer diagnosis compensation claim. In order to be successful, you’ll need to demonstrate that you were let down by the health care system. This could include:

  • Your GP failing to conduct an examination or ordering the appropriate tests when you had symptoms of prostate cancer
  • Test results indicating abnormalities not being followed up
  • Symptoms and test results being misdiagnosed as another condition
  • Test results being read wrong
  • The seriousness of prostate cancer being underestimated
  • Receiving poor advice on the treatment options of prostate cancer

How much compensation will I get?

If you successfully win prostate cancer misdiagnosis compensation the amount you receive will vary depending on your individual circumstances. The amount secured will depend upon the pain and suffering that you have endured which would have been avoided with proper treatment and how financially you have been affected both in the past and the future. When you work with us we’ll calculate the value of your claim. While some of the compensation money is quantifiable, such as the amount you lost in earnings as a result of being misdiagnosed, others are harder to assess, for instance, the distress medical negligence has caused. We’ll work with you in order to secure an outcome that reflects the suffering you have endured.

How long do I have to make a claim?

Medical negligence claims must be made within 3 years from the ‘date of knowledge’. This means you have 3 years to start the claims process in court from when you first realised that there had been a mistake not from when you first visit your doctor with a concern. This often means you have a longer period to start a compensation claim but it can make it more difficult to understand whether you’re claim falls inside the timeframe.

If you’re unsure about where you stand with your failure to diagnose cancer claim, you can talk to one of our time. We recommend starting the compensation process as soon as possible, this makes it easier for you to recall details and access records.

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

What is prostate cancer?

The prostate gland is only found in men and is usually the size of a walnut but grows gradually as men age. It is beneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra. Prostate cancer, as with all types of cancer, begins when cells start to grow in an uncontrollable way. These cells are initially not cancerous but there is a risk that this can occur. Prostate cancer begins from cancerous cells within the prostate but it is possible for the disease to spread to other areas of the body.

What causes prostate cancer?

It is not known exactly what causes prostate cancer but research has linked it to several risk factors. Among the causes of prostate cancer are:

  • Age – Men over the age of 50 are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
  • Ethnic group – The disease is more common in men of African-Caribbean and African descent.
  • Family history – Having a brother or father that has been diagnosed with prostate cancer indicates you could be more at risk, research also indicates there is a link between having a close female relative developing breast cancer and your chance of developing prostate cancer.
  • Obesity – Being obese could also raise your risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • Diet – Evidence suggests that there is a link between a diet that is high in calcium and prostate cancer.

Other potential risk factors for developing prostate cancer include previously having certain cancers, including bladder cancer, lung cancer, or kidney cancer, or having a vasectomy.

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

The signs of symptoms of prostate cancer are usually mild and some people don’t experience any symptoms at all, particularly during the earliest stage. Most men only notice signs of prostate cancer when the cancer has grown large enough to put pressure on the urethra. Symptoms of prostate cancer include:

  • Needing to urinate more frequently, often during the night
  • Needing to rush to the toilet
  • Difficulty in starting to urinate
  • Straining or taking a long time while urinating
  • Weak flow
  • Feeling like your bladder has not emptied fully

While these are prostate cancer signs, the prostate naturally grows as men age so the symptoms don’t necessity indicate cancer. Where the cancer has spread the symptoms usually become more obvious, such as bone and back pain, less of an appetite, pain in the testicles and unexplained weight loss.

How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

If you have prostate cancer symptoms you should visit your GP. There is no definitive prostate cancer diagnosis test, instead if your GP believes you could have prostate cancer they will discuss the pros and cons of each test in order to help you make an informed decision. There are several ways of diagnosing prostate cancer.

  • PSA testing

A PSA blood test measures the amount of PSA in the blood. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland, a small amount of PSA is evident in all men’s blood and the amount increase with age. The prostate cancer blood test will look at how much PSA is in the blood and raised levels can indicate cancer in its earliest stages. However, it’s not a specific prostate cancer test and around 65% of men that have higher than average levels of PSA will not have cancer.

  • Digital rectal examination

Another way to detect prostate cancer is a digital rectal examination (DRE). This will be conducted by the GP and will involve them checking the surface of the gland to see if it has changed. Sometimes prostate cancer can make the gland hard and bumpy but this isn’t always the case. While it’s not a way to get a definitive diagnosis of prostate cancer, a DRE can be used to rule out prostate enlargement caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia.

  • Biopsy

If it’s concluded that you are at risk of having prostate cancer your GP will discuss further ways of diagnosing prostate cancer, including a biopsy. This will be conducted under local anaesthetic and will involve removing a small sample of cells to test for cancer. A TRUS biopsy is the most accurate test for prostate cancer but it can still miss up to one in five cancers because the location of the cancer is unknown when it’s carried out. It also can also cause potential complications. 

Under NHS guidelines, men that are believed to have prostate cancer following a digital rectal examination should be referred within two weeks, as should those that have high PSA levels.

If there is a chance that the disease could have spread following a prostate cancer diagnosis, further testing may be needed. This could include an MRI, CT scan or an isotope bone scan.

Can prostate cancer be misdiagnosed?

It is possible for prostate cancer to be misdiagnosed. The fact that there is no definitive test for diagnosing prostate cancer can make it difficult for medical professionals to reach an accurate conclusion, even if a PSA test and biopsy are conducted.

Prostate cancer misdiagnosis statistics suggest that half of men with prostate cancer are misdiagnosed. The research, from Cambridge University, found that men were not only experiencing a failure to diagnosis prostate cancer but were also being told they has a less serious form of the disease, when they had more serious cancer.  While diagnostic techniques have improved in recent years there’s still a chance for misdiagnosis of prostate cancer to occur

As well as medical professionals concluding that the growth of the prostate gland is benign and down to age, it can also be diagnosed as other conditions. Prostate cancer diagnosed as prostatitis, which is the inflammation of the prostate gland, can occur.

If misdiagnosed prostate cancer does occur, it can have a serious impact on the treatment needed to cure or slow the spread of the disease and the survival rate.

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

How is prostate cancer treated?

The treatment of prostate cancer varies from case to case and a multi-disciplinary team advises each patient. The treatment advised will depend on many factors, including the size and stage of the cancer, whether it has spread to other areas of the body and your general health. The best prostate cancer treatment will be different for each individual but in many cases no treatment is necessary, with the symptoms being carefully monitored instead. This is usually chosen because prostate cancer is often non-aggressive and there are prostate cancer treatment side effects to consider. Treatment for prostate cancer includes:

  • Watchful waiting

Watchful waiting is often recommended for older men when it’s unlikely that prostate cancer will affect their natural life span. It means waiting to see if any symptoms of the cancer developing occur.

  • Active surveillance

The aim of active surveillance aims to avoid unnecessary treatment of harmless cancers. It’s estimated that up to two-thirds of men with prostate cancer do not need treatment. Active surveillance means keeping a close eye on the cancer, for instance regularly having PSA blood tests to see if levels continue to rise.

  • Radical prostatectomy

A radical prostatectomy is the surgery to remove the prostate gland. It is used to cure localised prostate cancer and locally-advanced prostate cancer. However, it does have potential side effects and risks, including being fatal in a small number of cases, and for around a third of men it doesn’t remove all the cancerous cells, meaning the cancer can return after the operation.

  • Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy for prostate cancer is used to kill the cancerous cells and can be used to slow the progression of the disease or relieve symptoms. It is often used in conjunction with hormone therapy but can cause both short and long term side effects, including the inability to obtain an erection and urinary incontinence.

  • Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is a form of prostate cancer where it is delivered inside the prostate gland. It can deliver a high dose of radiation while minimising the risk to other, healthy tissue. Prostate cancer brachytherapy still carries the risk of sexual dysfunction and urinary problems. 

  • Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy can be used as prostate cancer treatment and is often used with radiotherapy. It can improve the chances of success of radiotherapy and reduce the risk of the cancer returning.

  • Chemotherapy

For prostate cancer chemotherapy is usually only used if the disease has spread to other parts of the body or is not responding to other treatment options.

Other treatment options are also available, including cryotherapy, trans-urethral resection of the prostate and high intensity focused ultrasound.

What prostate cancer treatment is best?

The best treatment for prostate cancer varies between cases and you will be advised on which option is the most likely to be successful. No treatment is guaranteed to be successful and many have significant side effects, as a result, some men choose not to begin treatment immediately but instead monitor their conditions and symptoms to see how the cancer progresses.

The treatment of prostate cancer that is recommended for you will consider:

  • Where your cancer is
  • Whether the cancer has spread
  • The size of the tumour
  • The type of cancer
  • How abnormal the cells look
  • Your general health and level of fitness

When you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer it will be graded and given a stage. The staging of prostate cancer indicates how serious the disease is, how likely it is to spread and has an impact on the course of treatment recommended.

  • Localised prostate cancer

Localised prostate cancer means that the cancerous cells are all contained within the prostate. In many cases, doctors will offer you active surveillance, where the cancer is frequently monitored, but you can choose to start treatment straight away. If you are classed as being low risk, treatment for prostate cancer can include surgery, external radiotherapy, brachytherapy. If you are found to have intermediate or high risk localised prostate cancer you usually begin treatment straight away. 

  • Locally advanced prostate cancer

If your cancer is described as locally advanced cancer it means the cancerous cells have spread to nearby tissue. In this instance the best treatment for prostate cancer is often determined by whether you have any symptoms. If you don’t have any of the signs associated with prostate cancer you may not have treatment. If symptoms are present radiotherapy and hormone therapy are among the options. Surgery can be used but it isn’t a very common option for locally advanced cancer.

  • Advanced prostate cancer

Advanced prostate cancer means the disease has spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones. In this case treatment aims to control the cancer to prevent it from spreading to other areas of the body and maintaining a good quality of life. There are several treatment options for prostate cancer at this stage but which one is best will be down to each patient.

What are the different types of prostate cancer?

More than 99% of prostate cancer is adenocarcinoma, where the cancerous cells develop in the gland cells. However, there are other types of prostate cancer, although they are very rare. Some rare prostate cancers don’t result in PSA levels increasing, meaning they are harder to detect, and, in some cases, they can be more aggressive or spread faster.

What is the prostate cancer survival rate?

In the UK, there are around 130 cases of prostate cancer diagnosed every day, it is the second most common cancer. However, most cases are diagnosed during the early stages and the prostate cancer survival rate is good.

More than 8 in 10 men diagnosed with prostate cancer survive their disease for ten years or more and 94% survive their disease for one year or more. The survival rate of prostate cancer has tripled in the last 40 years alone, an improvement that’s been attributed to PSA testing and detecting the disease at the earliest stage.