What are stomach cancer symptoms?
Stomach cancer, or gastric cancer, is a rare type of cancer.
The initial symptoms of stomach cancer are vague and easy to mistake for other, less serious conditions. These may include:
- persistent indigestion and/or heartburn
- trapped wind and frequent burping
- feeling bloated or stomach ache after eating
- persistent stomach pain
When stomach cancer reaches its advanced stages, symptoms may include:
- blood in stools, or black stools
- appetite loss
- weight loss
The early signs of stomach cancer are similar to many other conditions, which unfortunately means misdiagnosis is relatively common. It is therefore imperative that possible symptoms of stomach cancer are checked out by the GP as soon as possible, and that a diagnosis is made with haste. This will result in the best possible stomach cancer prognosis.
What Causes Stomach Cancer?
Although the exact cause of stomach cancer is unknown, there are a number of known risk factors that GPs should be aware of and enquire about in diagnosing the disease. These include:
- being aged 55 or older
- being male
- eating a diet high in salted and pickled foods
- having a stomach infection
Awareness of several of these risk factors yet failure to diagnose accurately may add weight to a claim for stomach cancer misdiagnosis compensation, as a GP should recognise their presence as a strong indicator of the disease when symptoms are also present.
How Should Stomach Cancer Be Treated?
If stomach cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, it may be possible for it to be completely removed during surgery. A doctor should advise if this is a possibility, but also explain the risks of complications involved.
If stomach cancer is caught in its later stages, treatment usually consists of palliative measures (which merely control the symptoms). The main treatments for stomach cancer are chemotherapy and radiotherapy. One of these treatments or a combination may be undergone dependent on individual circumstances. Stomach cancer treatment looks to completely remove the tumour and other cancerous cells, but this is only possible in 20-30% of stomach cancer cases due to delayed diagnosis.
In other cases, the medical focus is on preventing tumour growth, which may be achieved using surgery or chemotherapy. Where tumours have grown so large, treatment will aim to relieve symptoms as surgery would be unable to assist at this stage.
What Might Be Grounds For A Stomach Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim?
If a GP or specialist fails to diagnose or correctly treat a stomach tumour, causing undue suffering to the patient, this may warrant a claim for clinical negligence compensation. There are several circumstances which might lead to a clinical negligence claim as a result of stomach cancer:
Firstly, there may be a delay in diagnosis of the cancer, which may result from a GP failing to pick up on signs and symptoms which should have led to further investigations. For a claim to be successful, it is necessary to show that the delay has resulted in a worse outcome – as is often the case with stomach cancers left unchecked. Delays are particularly significant when dealing with benign tumours as they are more likely to be curable and often the size of the tumour and the ease with which it can be removed relate directly to how good the stomach cancer prognosis provided is.
Once a diagnosis of stomach cancer has been made it is integral that the patient understands their treatment options. In some cases surgery may carry a significant risk of leaving the patient with severe disabilities and can cause a benign tumour to become malignant, and so it is the responsibility of the medical professional to inform their patients of such risks.
If surgery is decided upon it may not be undertaken with sufficient care. Stomach surgery is very complicated, and complications such as damage to surrounding organs or infection may occur during the operation. If these complications could have been avoided with reasonable care, a claim for compensation may be made.
Finally, there have been cases where patients who did not actually have stomach cancer were diagnosed with it. These patients may undergo the psychological stress of believing themselves a cancer patient – even, as has been known to occur, pre-operation tests and treatment which might include surgery – when in fact they had contracted something far less severe. These cases might also warrant a claim due to the distress and time off work and consequent financial losses suffered through clinical negligence.
Our solicitors can provide expert claim advice in a FREE consultation if you are unsure; simply call 01204 521 133.
How Much Will I Get?
Everyon’e’s claim is entirely different, so it is difficult to advise accurately. However, our Medical Negligence Compensation Calculator may provide a rough estimate of what you may receive. These estimates are based on your injuries and also other factors, such as psychological problems and missed time at work.
‘No Win No Fee’
At Asons Solicitors, we have taken the risk out of making a claim for all of our clients, which is why over 98% of our claims are No Win No Fee. This way, we can allow everyone access to justice, regardless of their financial position. If you choose to make a claim with us, there are no upfront fees or unexpected costs, as we take on the risk for you.
More on ‘No Win, No Fee’ here.
Our Stomach Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims Experience
Errors arising from cases of stomach cancer misdiagnosis hold dire repercussions for patients. At Asons, we understand the detrimental effect it has on victims as the cancer worsens while they mistakenly assume they have a less severe condition. This is coupled with the psychological stress from being let down by a trusted medical professional. We know that victims and their families are often hesitant to come forward with their claims. As medical negligence solicitors, it’s our job to do everything within our means to make the process as straightforward as possible.
Stomach Cancer Resources
Our guide, How Will A Cancer Misdiagnosis Change Your Life? was written to provide information and guidance on how to deal with a cancer misdiagnosis, as well as highlighting the occurrence rates of these errors due to an overworked NHS.
As with any claim, you may be worried about the potential costs of pursuing your clinical negligence case. To address this common concern, we have devised a variety of options to help you. We help acquire all the assistance that you are entitled to, whilst managing resulting compensation in the most beneficial way possible. We must remind you to be quick, however, as there are time limits in place for making claims of this kind.
We deal with medical negligence claims on a regular basis. If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of substandard treatment, you may be eligible to make a claim. Our Medical Negligence Solicitors will work to gather all of the appropriate paperwork and documentation, whilst speaking to the parties involved, substantiating your medical claim.