Ovarian cancer occurs when there is a change in the normal cell structure of the ovary which in turn grows in the form of a tumour.  The most common type of ovarian cancer is epithelial ovarian cancer and there are other less common types too.  There are approximately 400 cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed in Ireland each year and it is the sixth most common cancer in women with a high prevalence in women over the age of 50.

The initial presentation of ovarian cancer can be difficult to identify as the symptoms may be somewhat vague in the early stages.  There are many symptoms that can suggest ovarian cancer and these symptoms include abdominal (stomach) pain, back pain and tiredness, unexplained weight gain has also been noted, nausea, more frequent passing of urine, noted infertility or changes in menstrual patterns to include bleeding after menopause.

Initial presentation is usually with the GP and an internal examination of the womb may be carried out.  A blood sample may also be taken which is sent for analysis testing for the CA-125 which is a protein produced by some ovarian cancers.  Various radiological examinations can be carried out such as an ultrasound scan which takes pictures from different angles.  The ultrasound examination is a transvaginal examine which uses soundwaves to look at the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries which can help detect a tumour in the ovary.

The CA-125 blood test is not particularly useful for diagnosing ovarian cancer as many different conditions may cause abnormal CA-125 but can help with preferred treatment options.  A reduction in CA-125 levels during or after treatment can indicate that the treatment is working. Similarly, an elevation of CA-125 after treatment can indicate reoccurrence of ovarian cancer. There are various treatment options for ovarian cancer which will also depend on how far the cancer has progressed.  Surgical intervention can range from laparotomy which is a surgical incision into the abdomen and, where appropriate it may be possible to remove one ovary if the cancer is confined to that.  More radical treatment can extend to hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy which is a removal of the cervix, womb, two ovaries and the fallopian tubes.  Chemotherapy is also a treatment option which may be administered intravenously (IV) or through tablets with the intention of destroying the cancerous cells and this treatment can unfortunately come with significant side-effects.  Other perhaps less common treatment is radiotherapy which involves using high energy rays to destroy cancer cells.

For a successful medical negligence claim it would be required to show that the delay in diagnosing ovarian cancer caused the disease to progress and spread where it otherwise may not have.  The usual failures we would know of can include a failure to take a complete and accurate history with the person, either by the GP and/or the gynaecologist, a failure by the GP to refer to an appropriate specialist, and also an error in interpreting the various investigations and tests, which in turn lead to a delay in the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of the cancer.

Our ovarian cancer misdiagnosis solicitors

If you or a loved one have suffered harm because of negligent delay or misdiagnosis of ovarian cancer, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation. It is important you seek advice as soon as possible to protect your legal rights. We believe in putting you our client first and we are committed to achieving the best result possible while all the time remaining sensitive to your needs. Please feel free to reach out to us below and will be pleased to discuss your case and offer no obligation advice.

To contact one of our cancer misdiagnosis claims solicitors please call 0818 888 555 or WhatsApp/call 087 398 7386 or complete our online enquiry form

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