Case study bowel cancer misdiagnosis
The case:

Bowel Cancer Misdiagnosis

Last Updated: 26th Apr 2024
Misdiagnosis Claims

Miss M tragically lost her life after her healthcare providers failed to identify the source of her bowel problems and back pain sooner – a cancer diagnosis could have prolonged her life by years. Discover how we helped secure a just settlement for her dependents.

Tami Frankel - Solicitor and Partner at Gadsby Wicks
Solicitor and Partner
Tami Frankel


Over three years, Miss M suffered numerous symptoms including rectal bleeding, constipation, diarrhoea, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, lower back pain and abdominal pain. She attended her GP and A&E at the local hospital on several occasions. The hospital diagnosed an anal fissure, haemorrhoids and anaemia. She was diagnosed with coccydynia to explain the back pain. However, nothing helped with the pain.

Eventually, Miss M was sent for an MRI of her back. This reported an abnormality in her bowel. A biopsy was then carried out which revealed cancer of the bowel. As a result of the diagnosis, Miss M underwent surgery to remove some of the tumour and to form a colostomy, followed by chemotherapy. Miss M died two years after diagnosis.

This was pursued as a cancer misdiagnosis claim by our medical negligence claims solicitors on the basis that there was a failure by the hospital to investigate Miss M’s symptoms by an MRI or CT any earlier. 

Had either been carried out when they should have been, then the bowel cancer would have been diagnosed two years earlier. At that stage, surgery would have been possible. It would not have cured M, but it would have prolonged her life by up to a further five years.


The claim was settled very shortly before trial for £200,000, being £90,000 for the avoidable pain and suffering Miss M had gone through before diagnosis, and £110,000 in respect of the care which was provided to Miss M and her two children during the period when she should have been able to care for them.

This case was led by Tami Frankel.

NOTE: While our case studies are designed to give an indication of the outcomes that can be achieved in these circumstances, the compensation awarded in individual cases can vary significantly due to a range of factors, including effects on life expectancy, the severity of the negligence or misdiagnosis that took place, and the financial impact.

If you have been affected by similar events to those outlined here, we can help seek justice on your behalf.

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