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My Mother is Delaying Seeing Her GP and I'm Worried About a Possible Cancer Risk

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"We have a history of lung cancer in my family and I’m concerned that my mother is delaying going to the GP for a persistent cough – she’s worried about exposure to Covid. Do you have any advice?"

It is very important that someone with a persistent cough sees their GP without delay.

GPs are very accustomed to operating within the parameters of the pandemic and they have sound safety protocols in place. Some GPs offer a phone or a video consultation, but they may want to see your mother in person while maintaining extra hygiene standards.

Without wanting to alarm you, a persistent cough can, in some cases, be an indicator of cancer, so an early diagnosis is crucial, if only to rule this out.

Unfortunately, we are dealing with an increasing number of legal cases where a delay in diagnosis – or sometimes a misdiagnosis -  has resulted in more serious injury to a patient than otherwise would have been the case. Clearly the Covid situation has led to routine or follow up appointments being cancelled or delayed, so this is a growing issue.

Anyone who feels a delay or a misdiagnosis has caused them further injury or illness should seek tailored legal advice. It may be that compensation could be claimed that could alleviate the suffering and help meet the needs arising from the illness.  In most cases, the time limit for doing so will be three years from the date that the person becomes aware of the true diagnosis. 


For more information, contact: nick.oneill@jcpsolicitors.co.uk or 02920 860628

This question is based upon a hypothetical situation. The content does not constitute legal advice and is provided for general information purposes only.