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Posted on 20th November 2017

Terminal Lung Cancer Following Delay In Diagnosis

A 77 year old man attended A&E at a hospital in Bury because he was suffering with chest pain and shortness of breath. Whilst at the hospital the man had scans of his chest.

The scans showed an abnormality and medics at the hospital should have referred the patient to specialists for further tests. Instead of organising the referral, the medical staff failed to take action.

Eight months following the attendance at A&E the man returned to the hospital because he was still in pain. Medical experts carried out further tests and found that the “abnormality” had grown in size. The patient was given the news two days later that the abnormality was in fact lung cancer and it was terminal. The man died a year after he first went to A&E.

The man was a non-smoker, tee-total, he also was a keen cyclist and still working as a builder up until he started to become unwell. His daughter has spoken with health bosses and is appealing to them to improve standards of care.

Hospital chiefs have now admitted that the care given to the 77 year old patient was below standard and that a diagnosis could have been made eight months before it actually was.

His Daughter commented “Dad was an extremely healthy guy who loved cycling and did not drink or smoke. This meant the news of his cancer was a massive bombshell for all of us.

“We were so shocked that the problem could have been missed and we do think that the earlier diagnosis would have made a huge difference.

“Ultimately, his health had not deteriorated in October 14 so I am sure he would have proceeded with chemotherapy, which could have improved his quality of life and ensured we would all have had extra time together.”


This case highlights the importance of early diagnosis of cancer. Had this patient been referred to specialists, he could have had life-saving treatment and go on to lead a normal life. 

When the patient first attended hospital and a scan was performed, the cancer would have clearly shown in the radiographs. Those radiographs should have also been reviewed by a radiographer and a report with the findings given back to the treating medical expert and an urgent referral made.

If you or a loved one has had a delay in being diagnosed with cancer, or any other medical condition, and that condition has worsened or become terminal, you may have grounds to make a compensation claim. 

Contact us on 0330 355 9210 or for a free claim assessment.