Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims

Cancer Misdiagnosis Solicitors

In Ireland, sadly, 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by cancer. The most common cancers in Ireland are Skin Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Bowel Cancer and Lung Cancer.

When you are ill, you expect, and deserve, the best medical care. When that care fails you because of Medical Negligence, the impact can be life altering, if not life threatening.  An early cancer diagnosis can mean early intervention, and the highest likelihood of recovery. When the diagnosis is delayed or inaccurate, the patient’s recovery chances are greatly reduced.

If your cancer has been misdiagnosed, you may be entitled to bring a Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim.

If you have received a cancer misdiagnosis, contact us at Cantillons Solicitors today so we can assist you with your Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim.

Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims Ireland


What is a Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim?

Cancer misdiagnosis occurs when the symptoms of cancer are not detected by a medical practitioner.

A Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim is a type of Medical Negligence Claim made when:

  • Non-cancerous symptoms are misdiagnosed as cancer and/or treated as cancer, in error.
  • Cancer is not diagnosed or treated accurately, despite the patient’s presenting symptoms.
  • A cancer diagnosis is avoidably delayed.
  • A test for the presence of cancer is misdiagnosed.

Claims for cancer misdiagnosis, in any of these scenarios, occur when the misdiagnosis or delay is due to negligence. This can be down to the negligence of an individual medical practitioner, a medical practice, a private hospital, or the HSE.

Cancer misdiagnosis due to negligence can result in a patient receiving incorrect or delayed treatment. In turn, this can lead to the patient requiring intensive treatment that could have been avoided. Tragically, cancer misdiagnosis can also mean that a patient misses the opportunity for potentially life-saving treatment.


Types of Cancer Misdiagnosis

Unfortunately, cancer misdiagnosis can occur with any type of cancer. There are, however, some cancer variants that are more commonly misdiagnosed, including:

  1. Breast Cancer – Cancer symptoms that are often mistaken for non-cancerous conditions include sore or swollen areas of the breast tissue, including lumps. Though these are typical breast cancer symptoms, they are frequently misdiagnosed as mastitis and fibrocystic breasts.
  1. Colorectal / Bowel Cancer – Patients complaining of changes to their bowel habits and experiencing cramps could have colorectal or bowel cancer. These symptoms are regularly dismissed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), or ulcerative colitis.
  1. Lung Cancer – Symptoms that present with common infections, including Covid-19, bronchitis, tuberculosis and pneumonia, can also be signs of lung cancer. These include a persistent cough and shortness of breath.

In all of these examples, the patient should expect precautionary and accurate cancer screening as the very minimum treatment. As Ireland has sadly learnt from the cervical screening scandal, failing to act properly can cost people their lives.

Other frequently misdiagnosed cancers include:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colon and Rectal cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukaemia cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Lymphoma cancer
  • Skin cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Uterine cancer


Common Causes of Cancer Misdiagnosis

Cancer misdiagnosis errors take many forms and include:

  1. Delayed Diagnosis

 When a patient takes their concerns to any medical professional, they expect those concerns to be promptly investigated and treated. Delayed cancer diagnosis occurs when a medical practitioner fails to investigate a patient’s symptoms, and therefore delays diagnosis.

It has been proven that a diagnosis of cancer in the early stages of the disease can help beat it. When a diagnosis is not made in time, despite symptoms being evident, the treatment for that cancer is delayed too. When treatment is delayed, the chances of survival for that patient reduce dramatically.

Diagnosis delays can occur when symptoms that are frequently associated with any form of cancer are not investigated. This can include a Doctor, for example, failing to send their patient for appropriate cancer screening. It can also occur when a patient is screened, but the results are misread, either in the laboratory or clinic (as was the case in the Cervical Check Cancer Scandal).

Diagnosis delays and misdiagnosis of cancer can also occur when equipment fails. It is the responsibility of the health care provider to ensure all equipment is working correctly and safely. Failing to ensure this means they have failed in their duty of care to you. Faulty equipment can result in incorrect screening and substandard screening. Similarly, medical equipment in the hands of an unqualified or inexperienced medical professional can result in misdiagnosis.

If you believe that your cancer diagnosis was delayed because of Medical Negligence, get in touch with Cantillons Solicitors at (0)21 4275673.


  1. Failure To Diagnose

A failure to diagnose cancer can occur when a medical practitioner mistakes cancer symptoms for other, non-cancerous, conditions. It can arise where the symptoms have been ignored completely or dismissed as being a less serious condition.

A patient might even be treated for another illness entirely, one with similar symptoms, only to find out too late that the medical professional treating them has failed to diagnose cancer as the issue. This can occur when a patient’s doctor lacks the necessary knowledge or is inexperienced. In a scenario like this, the patient should be referred to a medical colleague or a consultant with appropriate expertise. If they are not, and the cancer is not diagnosed, there is a potential Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim.


  1. Incorrect Diagnosis

There are cancer misdiagnosis cases that happen because a patient has been diagnosed with cancer when they don’t have it. Incorrect diagnosis is not only stressful for the patient, but can result in them receiving unnecessary medical treatment. This treatment could be in the form of chemotherapy, tissue removal or radiation therapy. All of which can have severe side effects.


Who Can make a Cancer Misdiagnosis Compensation Claim?

Anyone who has received a cancer misdiagnosis in Ireland has the opportunity to make a claim. If you, or a loved one, believe you have received a delayed or incorrect diagnosis, you should speak to a Medical Negligence Solicitor.


How do you make a Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim?

The first step of making a Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim starts with finding a suitable and experienced Solicitor to deal with the claim. You should feel comfortable enough with your Solicitor to discuss your experience and ask any questions.

At Cantillons Solicitors, we understand the sensitivity of this type of work, and are discreet and approachable at all times. When working with our Cancer Misdiagnosis clients, we ensure that they feel looked after every step of the way.

It is essential that the Solicitor you select for your claim is an experienced Medical Negligence Solicitor. Every Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim in Ireland is required to follow set steps. An experienced Medical Negligence Solicitor will help you navigate each step and, importantly, ensure that no step is missed. Missing a step of the legal process, can result in your claim being stalled.

Our team of Medical Negligence Solicitors have helped countless clients with Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims and Cancer Negligence Claims. We pride ourselves on our reputation for professionalism and success in this area of our practice. Some Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims we have been involved with include can be read about by following the links below:


  1. Woman, 39, settles High Court case over cervical smear tests
  2. Family of woman who died from cervical cancer settles case
  3. Settlement For Woman With Terminal Cancer
  4. Complex Colon Cancer Medical Negligence Cases Settled By Mediation
  5. Young Mother With Bowel Cancer Settles Her Case


The initial meeting with your Medical Negligence Solicitor will aim to establish the strength of your case, based on the facts you supply. It can be helpful to write down what you remember before meeting your Medical Negligence Solicitor. This can include symptoms, dates of appointments, clinic names, conversations had with your GP etc.

Following this meeting, your Solicitor will start requesting, with your permission, copies of your medical files from all relevant establishments. These files will help them build the evidence for your Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim. If you have copies of letters or communications from your medical provider, you should give copies to your Solicitor.

Your medical records, notes and testimonials will be assessed by your Cancer Misdiagnosis Solicitor. Your medical records will also be assessed by an independent medical expert. This is a required step for every Cancer Misdiagnosis and Medical Negligence Claim.  The role of the medical expert is to establish whether there was negligence on the part of your Doctor/Hospital. They will look at how each relevant person in your medical team behaved. They will also look at what tests and treatments were given and when.

Assuming that the medical expert concludes that your treatment was negligent, a letter of claim will be written, by your Medical Negligence Solicitor, and sent to the Doctor/Hospital against whom the case is being made.


Time limits for Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim

There are very strict rules on how long you have to make any Medical Negligence Claim, including Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims. These are dictated by the Statute of Limitations, a law that sets the amount of time in which a case must be brought.

The time limit is, generally, two years from the day of injury.

The two year period begins on the day of your misdiagnosis. There are some exceptions to this, including if you did not know a wrong had been committed until a later date (the date of knowledge), then the time limit will run from the date you discovered this wrong.  Further, if you did not initially know you suffered an injury, then the time will only start from the date you became aware of the injury. Also, for children and infants, the time limits laid out by the Statute of Limitations are a little different. One option is that a parent of the child can bring the case on their behalf soon after the injury. The other option is to wait until the child’s 18th birthday, when the child then has two years to complete the claim. This may not always be advisable.

Two years may seem like plenty of time to make a case, but it is advisable to begin the process as soon as possible. Cancer Misdiagnosis Cases can take time to build. Be sure to contact a Medical Negligence Solicitor at your earliest convenience.


Legal costs in Cancer Misdiagnosis claims

We recommend discussing legal fees with your Medical Negligence Solicitor during your initial meeting. Your Medical Negligence Solicitor will be open with you about how they calculate fees. In fact, Solicitors in Ireland are obligated to do so.

We are happy to discuss our fees with you, and help you better understand the process of a claim. Please do not let the fear of high legal costs prevent you from making your Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim.

We understand that the prospect of a ‘no win, no fee option’ is tempting. However, we do urge caution and encourage you to question its legitimacy.  These types of fee terms are often misleading.

For more information on Solicitor fees in Ireland, please see the Law Society website. It is important to also note that, in contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage of any award or settlement.


Contact our Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim Solicitors

 At Cantillons Solicitors, we have an excellent record of experience in the sensitive area of Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims.  If you are looking for a Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims Solicitor, please contact Cantillons Solicitors using the contact form below, call us on Cork +353 (0)21 4275673 or Dublin +353 (0)1 264 1802 or email us at for more information. Our offices are located at 39 South Mall, Cork and 31-36 Ormond Quay Upper, Dublin. We do, however, represent clients from all over Ireland. Should you be unable to attend our offices, we are more than happy to travel to you, or conduct the meeting on Zoom.


 * In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage of any award or settlement.

How can we help?

We are always happy to accommodate you at a time and place that best suits your needs.

We have Solicitors based in various locations, including Cork, Limerick and Dublin. We can arrange a meeting at a location that is suitable to you.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team outside of office hours then please contact us using the form below. We are happy to accommodate a virtual consultation, via Zoom or otherwise also.

If you have a query send us a message…

    Website by Doodle