• We are extremely proud to have secured over £114 MILLION in damages for our clients between 2018 and 2019!
  • We're delighted to be featured in the Times Best Law Firms 2019 guide under personal injury
  • Potter Rees Dolan were on the Legal 500 Awards 2018 insurance shortlist for the North West

Skin cancer misdiagnosis claims

Skin cancer is a very common form of cancer. There is a high cure rate for the as with all cancers, quick diagnosis and treatment is essential. If you feel that a healthcare professional has let you down in that respect and their delay in taking action has affected your quality of life, the expert solicitors at Potter Rees Dolan are here to help you and your family secure compensation for your suffering and any impact on your future.

Having cancer is a terrifying experience, but it can be made even more stressful and frustrating if you know that your cancer hasn’t been diagnosed quickly enough, or that treatment has been delayed through no fault of your own.

We understand that a late diagnosis means reduced treatment options and, therefore, sadly often a worse outcome. This is why you shouldn’t hesitate to make a claim. Our work will help you get the financial and emotional support you need to improve your quality of life, and to provide for you and your family in the future.

Helen Dolan, one of the top clinical negligence solicitors in the country, heads up our clinical negligence team. Helen, like many of our other solicitors, features in the renowned Legal 500 and Chambers 2018 guides. So you can rest assured that your compensation claim is in safe hands with us.

If you would like to speak to us about a skin cancer misdiagnosis claim, speak to our team today on 0800 027 2557. If you’d like to send us an email instead, fill in our online contact form and a member of our team will be in touch. If you want to speak to someone specific, view our people page for more information.

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer falls into three main categories:

Malignant melanoma- malignant melanoma is a cancer of the pigment cells of the can invade the skin around them and may also spread to other areas such as the lymph nodes, liver and lungs

Squamous Cell Carcinoma- this is a non-melanoma skin cancers and is the second most common type of skin cancer in the UK.

Basal Cell Carcinoma- this is also a non-melanoma skin cancer, and is the most common type (> 80%) of all skin cancer in the UK

Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, and it is on the increase in the UK, where more than 100,000 new cases are diagnosed every single year.

How can skin cancer be exacerbated by medical negligence?

Treating skin cancer effectively relies on identifying and treating it quickly. Sometimes, the standard of medical care you would expect from your healthcare professional falls short of what you are entitled to expect and, as a consequence, you may be a victim of clinical negligence.

Examples of medical negligence relating to skin cancer include:

  • Failure to identify cancer within a reasonable period of time and before it becomes terminal or more difficult to cure/manage
  • Failure to remove cancerous lumps fully when undergoing surgery
  • Failure to diagnose symptoms of skin cancer
  • Failure to refer you to specialist
  • Failure to properly conduct and/or report skin cancer tests

How can I pursue a skin cancer-related clinical negligence claim?

We’ve earned a reputation as one of the very best clinical negligence solicitor firms in the country. Besides obtaining results for most of our clients, the compassion and dedication our team demonstrates in their day-to-day work sets us apart from other law firms.

Potter Rees Dolan in helping people with serious injuries and disabilities, so you can rest assured that you will deal with experienced solicitors who aim to make the whole claims process as stress-free as possible for you and your loved ones.

Helen Dolan, head of the clinical negligence team is described by a source as ‘formidable in her knowledge of law and medicine’. The source goes on to add: ‘She’s one of the best clinical negligence solicitors in Manchester.’

Lesley Herbertson, according to Chambers 2018 ‘plays a crucial role in many of the firm's diverse clinical negligence cases.’ A commentator praises her ‘understanding of cases and the way she moves cases forward.’

Gill Edwards is described as being ‘well regarded’ for work on catastrophic injury in both adults and children. Her background as a registered general nurse aids her in issues of medical negligence. One source notes that ‘she is really lovely with clients, very thorough, and has a warm personality.’


We can fund your case on a ‘no win, no fee basis’. If for some reason, we aren’t successful securing compensation for your claim, you won’t owe us a penny. If you have an insurance policy that can cover legal expenses, we’ll let you know whether you can use it to fund your case. If not, we’ll explain why we can’t use your existing insurance and put in place a ‘no win, no fee’ arrangement instead.

What happens next

When we take on your case, we’ll discuss all the circumstances around your case in detail and help you understand if we are able to proceed or not. If we can show that you have a claim, we will help you gather all the evidence we will need in support. We will work with you to ensure that you have the best chance of recovering all of the compensation that and your family will need in order to reflect the injury and loss that you have suffered

As we’re gathering evidence, we will obtain your medical records. Once we have them and considered them in detail, we’ll work with independent experts to argue, on your behalf, how you have been a victim of clinical negligence. After that, we’ll initiate court proceedings to recover compensation as quickly as we can.

We’ll also try to explore opportunities for interim payments to be made, or even settle your case early for an appropriate amount of compensation.

Talk to us today

Skin cancer is an illness that can have devastating consequences for you and your loved ones. If it is identified and treated early, the worst of the cancer can be avoided. However, if the negligence of healthcare professionals mean your cancer goes undiagnosed, or misdiagnosed, the consequences can be fatal.

Find out how we can help you by contacting us on 0800 027 2557. If you’d prefer to speak to us over email, fill out our contact form on this page here. If there’s somebody specific you’d like to speak to, please find their profile on our people page.


What are the treatments of skin

Treating skin cancer depends on exactly where the cancer is, how big it is and your general health. It also depends on what type of cancer you have, and whether it is a melanoma or non-melanoma form of skin cancer.

For some people, surgically removing the cancer is an option. Other people have radiotherapy, which blasts the cancer with high energy waves to eliminate cancer cells. Other treatments include chemotherapy, which destroys cancer cells at their source. Finally, therapy (PDT) uses a combination of drugs and a special type of light to destroy cancer cells.

What are the possible complications of skin cancer?

The types of cancer patients suffer largely depend on the type of skin cancer they have. Typical complications include:

  • Recurrence of cancer, if you’ve already had it
  • Local recurrence, where cancer cells spread to nearby tissues in your body
  • Metastasis, where the cancer spreads to muscles, nerves, or your internal organs
  • In some cases, death

Useful Information

Radio Necrosis

This is a major complication following the use of radiotherapy on cancerous tumours when normal tissue is destructed. Necrosis means the death of cells in bones, organs, and soft tissues.

Radiotherapy is common method used to treat cancer, but it can also affect the rest of the body as the tissue in the surrounding area is also exposed.

Tissue damage begins once the patient is exposed to the radiation beam. The damage starts to interfere with the normal processes of supplying blood to the irritated areas, causing the tissue to change.

If a surgeon attempts to repair the damaged tissues, he or she may confront numerous complications. When attempting a skin graft, the surgeon has to connect to tissues that are ischemic (where there is a restricted blood supply) which means the tissue may heal with difficulty or not at all.

Radio necrosis develops in four stages:

  • Acute clinical period (first six months) : No clinical signs may arise during the first few months unless tissue therapy has exceeded its radiation tolerance limits.
  • Sub acute clinical period (second six months) : The recovery from acute radiation damage ends and permanent damage becomes evident.
  • Chronic clinical period (second to fifth year) : Further damage occurs and the most significant problems arise due to chronic deterioration of the microvasculature and tissue damage.
  • Late clinical period (after five years) : Physicians should be alert to signs of new cancers at this stage as soft tissue radio necrosis develops quite slowly. Very few recognisable skin changes arise during first six to 12 months after radiation damage.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells arising in the squamous cells - the thin, flat cells that make up the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis).

Squamous Cell Carcinomas (SCCs) often look like scaly red patches, open sores, or elevated growths with a central depression.

This is the one of the major forms of skin cancer as they are usually found in areas frequently exposed to the sun due to increasing UV exposure on the skin over time.

For this reason, they more commonly found in people with an outdoor profession/lifestyle, the elderly or those with a fair complexion susceptible to burning.

However, SCCs can also occur in other tissues such as; lips, mouth, oesophagus, urinary bladder, prostate, lung, vagina, and cervix.

The symptoms of an SCC can vary but it begins as a small nodule and, as it enlarges, the centre becomes necrotic and sloughs and the nodule turns into an ulcer. This usually presents itself as an ulcerated lesion with hard, raised edges.

The tumour itself may be in the form of hard plaque often with tiny blood vessels. It can lie below the level of the skin and eventually invades the underlying tissue.

Squamous Cell Carcinomas are usually investigated through a biopsy and classified under a microscope to determine the subtype.

They are generally treated by surgical excision although there is the option to use topical chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Radiotherapy is usually used as treatment in patients for whom surgery is not feasible.

The common prognosis of Squamous Cell Carcinoma is positive with less than 4% of cases spreading to other parts of the body. Some particular forms of SCCs have a higher, though still positive long-term outcome.

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