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We're here to help if you've experienced cancer negligence

Receiving a diagnosis for cancer can be the most shocking and upsetting experience of somebody's life.

Everyone who visits a hospital has the right to receive a high standard of medical treatment. But when you're suffering from cancer, you absolutely need the highest level of care and attention to give you the best possible chance of making a recovery and stopping the cancer changing your life.

Most of the time you'll receive the treatment and care you need, but sometimes negligence happens. Cancer misdiagnosis, incorrect treatment or delayed treatment can cause your cancer to worsen and spread.

We can't change your diagnosis or the stress you're likely to have experienced, but we can help make your situation better.

If you or a loved have received the wrong cancer treatment or suffered due to a mistake, you may be able to claim cancer misdiagnosis compensation for your pain, trauma and expenses.

To find out whether you can claim and what your options are, request a callback from our experts at a time that suits you. We'll be able to answer your questions and offer free, impartial advice. There's never any pressure to make a claim - this is your decision and yours only.

Medical mistakes or negligence can cause your condition to get worse, causing you pain and often leaving your family stressed and out of pocket. Some examples of the types of cancer misdiagnosis claims we've worked with are listed below. If your experience isn't mentioned here, please don't worry - it's still likely we can help you, so call us on .

  • Scans, X-rays or tests misinterpreted.
  • Medication issues in chemotherapy.
  • Incorrect treatment.
  • A GP not referring you to a specialist for more investigation.
  • Administrative errors such as not arranging follow ups.
  • Patients wrongly given the all-clear.
  • Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis.

What percentage of cancer patients are misdiagnosed?

A survey by the All Can cancer initiative looked at cancer misdiagnosis statistics in the UK and nine other countries by asking 3,981 people about their experiences. It found that cancer misdiagnosis rates were at nearly 32%. This statistic varies considerably depending on the type of cancer being diagnosed. 

Prostate and breast cancer misdiagnosis were rarer, due to the advanced nature of screening processes and medical understanding of these types of cancers. According to the survey, the lung cancer misdiagnosis rate was 28%, which was the same as for prostate cancer.

Head, neck or brain cancer misdiagnosis was more common due to the complex nature of symptoms for these types of cancers.

Nevertheless, if you have suffered because of misdiagnosis through medical negligence you could be eligible to make a compensation claim. Request a callback from one of our friendly, legally-trained claim advisors.


Can doctors be wrong about cancer diagnosis?

Yes. While every good doctor will go out of their way to ensure you receive the correct diagnosis, some illnesses can be tricky to pinpoint. 

Many illnesses present themselves with similar symptoms and cancer especially can present in many different ways. Your doctor should carry out the appropriate tests and scans before making a diagnosis, but they can still be wrong if test results aren't clear.

If you are dissatisfied with the diagnosis your doctor gives you initially, it is important that you raise the issue with them as soon as possible to avoid long-term complications to your health.


What is delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of cancer?

It's important for doctors and medical staff to diagnose cancer as soon as possible. Generally, the earlier they discover it, the more effective the treatment.

If your treatment has been delayed, this can cause the cancer to advance to a more serious ‘stage'. In some extreme cases, it can even get to the point that it's no longer possible to treat effectively.

It's also important that your diagnosis is accurate. For example, if you've been diagnosed with cancer when you don't have it, this can be dangerous and can put you through unnecessary stress. You may even have been given treatment you didn't need, such as chemotherapy or surgery to remove the cancer.


Can you make a cancer negligence claim?

We know it can be difficult for you to tell whether you could make a claim following cancer misdiagnosis or negligence - we're here to help you. To make a claim, your condition must have been made worse by the treatment or misdiagnosis you were given.

The best way to find out whether you can make a claim is to get in touch with us for free on . We're here to give impartial advice and to help you understand what's involved.

We'll never pressure you into making a claim - that's your decision. If you do decide you'd like to go ahead we can connect you with a specialist cancer misdiagnosis solicitor for more advice and what might happen next.


Even just the process of [people] being able to talk to somebody at their own pace about what's happened without being quizzed can be quite validating for people.

Dr Claire Freeman

Clinical Psychologist

Can I make a cancer misdiagnosis claim on someone else's behalf?

Yes, if someone is deemed unable to make a cancer misdiagnosis compensation claim themselves, you could be allowed to do so on their behalf. This is called being a ‘litigation friend'.

This usually applies for people who are physically or mentally unable to claim because of their cancer misdiagnosis or negligent treatment, or from a pre-existing condition that precludes them from making a claim themselves. 

Parents and legal guardians may also be able to claim for a child under 18 years old. If no claim has been made and there are grounds to proceed, they then have three years from their 18th birthday to make a claim as a legal adult.


Can I make a claim if a loved one has died because of their cancer misdiagnosis?

Yes, if a family member has passed away due to their misdiagnosis and it was due to medical negligence, you might be eligible to make a cancer misdiagnosis claim


Is there a time limit for making a cancer negligence compensation claim?

Generally, you can make a claim for cancer misdiagnosis or negligence if it's three years or less since you first realised you were misdiagnosed or received negligent treatment. 

There are exceptions to the three-year time limit for cancer misdiagnosis claims. For example, if you are declared physically or psychologically unable to claim within the three-year period, you could be able to claim within three years of the date of your recovery.

Also, for children under 18 who are misdiagnosed the three-year claim period does not start until the date of their 18th birthday, expiring on their 21st birthday. However, if a parent or guardian made a claim on their behalf beforehand, they will be unable to claim again.

If you are unsure if you are still within the time limit or are approaching the end of the three years, contact our team as soon as possible to see if you can still make a claim.


Frequently asked questions...


Compensation is always paid by the other side's insurance company. In a road traffic accident injury claim, this will be their motor insurance company. For an injury at work, it will be employers' liability insurer used by the firm you work for. For accidents in a public place it will be the public liability insurer of the council, business or landlord deemed legally responsible for your accident injury. This ensures no-one is hit with an unaffordable bill.

Our advice is never accept an early settlement offer from an insurance company without taking legal advice. The amount may well be lower than that to which you're entitled. 

We'll check your eligibility to claim and then pair you with one of our approved solicitors if you choose to proceed.

Yes, of course. Our helpline, our own law firm, the law firms we work with around the country and all insurers are operating as pretty much as normal with many people working securely from home. There may be some minor delays - for example if your ankle injury compensation claim needs a court hearing. However, much of the work is carried out by phone, email and using the government's internet claims system anyway, so things are as close to business as usual as they can be.

Contact us first and we'll check your grounds to claim and then connect you with one of our specialist solicitors if you want to proceed.

No. National Accident Helpline is a brand that belongs to the personal injury legal practice National Accident Law. We're regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the independent professional ethics body that licenses all solicitors in England and Wales. Our SRA number is 655606.

Claims management companies (CMCs) are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). CMCs do not have their own legal practices. 

We process personal injury claims as part of National Accident Law. We also work with a national network of specialist personal injury legal firms who we vet very carefully to provide you with the best possible customer experience.

With us, you're in safe and highly-capable hands.

What is the average payout for cancer misdiagnosis in the UK?

There is no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to cancer misdiagnosis payouts. Each successful claim will be awarded an amount based on the individual circumstances of the case in hand. 

When assessing how much compensation your case could be worth, the cancer misdiagnosis attorneys we connect you with use the 15th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines to estimate a claim's worth. However, final amounts may differ depending on the unique details of your case.


More customer stories

What can cancer misdiagnosis compensation help to cover?

It can be very difficult to think about making a compensation claim when you've already been through so much. But in our 26 years of experience, we've seen how compensation can help.

Our cancer misdiagnosis lawyers will work hard to make sure they fully understand the impact your treatment has had on your cancer's development and how that's impacted your life as well as those around you.

You may have had to pay for extra medical treatment, medication or care. On top of taking time off work, this can put you and your family under financial strain. To us, that feels wrong.

As part of your cancer misdiagnosis settlement, your solicitor will aim to cover all the out-of-pocket expenses caused by the negligence you suffered, even down to travel and accommodation costs.

They'll also take into consideration the effect your cancer has had on your social life, hobbies, career and future when filing your cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit.


Is it right to make a cancer misdiagnosis claim against the NHS?

Understandably, many of our customers are concerned about making a claim against the NHS, especially when they have received care from nurses and doctors. 

However, making a claim against the health authority or trust that handled your cancer misdiagnosis and treatment does not affect the hospital or staff. NHS cancer misdiagnosis payouts are handled by NHS Resolution. 

This is the organisation set up by the government to handle compensation claims. NHS Resolution is an independent body that acts as an insurance provider for NHS Trusts. Each Trust will pay in a certain amount each year, just like car or home insurance. When a successful claim is made, NHS Resolution makes the compensation payout on behalf of the Trust concerned.

Talk to our team today on  if you have any questions about making a cancer misdiagnosis claim against an NHS Trust.


Katie suffered with appendicitis which went undiagnosed for 17 days. We hear from Katie and her mum, Julie, about what they went through and how National Accident Helpline was able to help.

Katie's story

Katie suffered with appendicitis which went undiagnosed for 17 days. We hear from Katie and her mum, Julie, about what they went through and how National Accident Helpline was able to help.

How can we help with your cancer misdiagnosis claim?

At National Accident Helpline, we've been helping people just like you for over 26 years - earning an ‘Excellent' rating on Trustpilot and countless customer success stories.

Our team of dedicated and experienced specialists are here to listen to your cancer misdiagnosis stories and guide you every step of the way. From your initial free and impartial consultation through to completing your claim. 

We offer complete transparency throughout your compensation claim process. We'll never pressure you into making a claim if you're uncomfortable or unsure about proceeding. What we will do is work tirelessly to get you the cancer misdiagnosis compensation amount you deserve if you choose to go ahead.



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Compensation on a No Win No Fee basis means you'll never be out of pocket.
We've handled over 40,000 medical claims.
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