Medical Mistake Claims - Simpson Millar LLP
 
 

Did Your Doctor Miss Your Pancreatic Cancer?

Author: Neil Fearn  Bullet  Dated: 08/07/2014

Pancreatic cancer (cancer of the pancreas) is the 9th most common cancer in the UK. If not caught in time, it can be fatal. This is due to it being very difficult to identify and treat. There is only one cure, and if not caught in time, even this may be ineffective.

Signs and Symptoms

Due to the nature of pancreatic cancer, it is often hard to find before it has entered its advanced stage. There are few symptoms in the early development of the tumour, but the following may be an indication that something is wrong:

  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Pain in the stomach, sometimes moving to the back
  • Lack of appetite
  • Jaundice

If you have gone to your GP with these symptoms, they should investigate and carry out further tests. Your GP should test you for signs of jaundice, a blood test, and potentially an ultrasound scan for further investigation.

Julie's Story

The BBC has recently told the story of Julie Rogers. Doctors missed her pancreatic cancer and now she faces the prospect of living with an inoperable tumour.

Julia Rogers, was diagnosed with "inoperable advanced pancreatic cancer" after the NHS missed her symptoms 19 times despite her constant trips to the doctors and even A&E. She presented with the typical signs of pancreatic cancer, but was told nothing unusual was seen on her scan despite her pancreas not being visible at the time due to "excessive bowel gas".

South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust who runs the A&E department and the other healthcare providers used by Julie has said in a statement that they will be carrying out a "thorough investigation".

Early Diagnosis Makes All the Difference

This case just demonstrates that it's often too easy to not only misdiagnose, but also completely miss the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer. One of the problems Julia found was that the urgency for her case just wasn't there when it came to her doctors. This is a major problem with pancreatic cancer and cancer in general, if the disease is caught early, survival rates and treatment options are more likely increase. If not caught in time, it can be fatal.

The survival rate is amongst one of the lowest when it comes to cancer. This is just another indication of why it is so important the condition is caught in time for the right treatment to commence. In cases such as these, you may want answers as to why your condition was not taken seriously. Perhaps if it could have been caught in time, maybe more treatments could have been available to you. Although you can make an NHS complaint, sometimes, legal action maybe the type of action needed to bring closure, peace of mind and relief to your situation.

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