The pancreas is an organ that can be found deep in the body behind the stomach, is about 6 inches long and some liken to looking somewhat like a fish. Playing an exceptionally important part in our digestive system makeup, the pancreas actually has two different roles; endocrine(the production of insulin and other hormones) and exocrine (the production of pancreatic enzymes required for the digestion of food).
Background to Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer, or cancer of the pancreas, is when a malignant tumour begins to develop and grow in the pancreas. It is currently the ninth most common cancer in the UK, with approximately 8,000 people being diagnosed annually. The majority of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are over 50 years of age, with the disease being very rare amongst those younger. Men are also more prevalent to being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer than women are. It is also known that people who smoke and those with diabetes or chronic pancreatitis are at a higher risk of contracting pancreatic cancer.
The vast majority of people, approximately 95%, with pancreatic cancer have an exocrine tumour, nearly all of which are adenocarcinomas.
Pancreatic cancer is often difficult to diagnose at an early stage due to the lack of symptoms when the disease initially forms. This means that a complete cure is usually not an option, with only 15% – 20% of pancreatic cancer patients being eligible for surgery. In situations where surgery is not a viable solution, there may be other treatment options available that can slow the disease down and manage symptoms effectively.
Misdiagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer
It is very typical that no symptoms are noticed by an affected person when a tumour in the pancreas first starts to develop and grow. When symptoms do first become noticeable, they can be quite generic and non-specific attributable to many other relatively mild conditions such as indigestion, gastritis and gall stones. This means that it is therefore very easy for doctors to misdiagnose pancreatic cancer and instead arrive at a diagnosis of a different, less severe illness. By the time that pancreatic cancer is actually diagnosed in a large proportion of people, the disease is often already at an advanced stage with little chance of a cure for the person.
If you or a loved one has pancreatic cancer that was previously misdiagnosed, then do not hesitate to contact our caring and compassionate experts at Lloyd Green Solicitors. We can help determine whether you have a potential clinical negligence claim against the medical professional or hospital concerned.
If you do have a clinical negligence claim, Lloyd Green Solicitors will act for you on a no win, no fee basis, which could see you awarded a substantial sum of money as compensation for your situation.