Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 13°C


Ipswich: Delays in skin cancer diagnosis

16:00 15 May 2014

Julie Crossley of Ashton KCJ

Julie Crossley of Ashton KCJ


Legally Speaking with Ashton KCJ


Statistics from Cancer Research UK show a surge in the number of people diagnosed with malignant melanoma in recent years. More than 13,000 people develop malignant melanoma each year, compared with around 1,800 in the mid-1970s.

This increase is partly due to the rising popularity of package holidays abroad and partly to over exposure to the sun or use of sunbeds.

According to Cancer Research UK, malignant melanoma incidence rates in the UK have increased more rapidly than any of today’s ten most common cancers. It is now the fifth most common cancer, with more than 2,000 people dying from it each year.

If melanoma is diagnosed early enough, the chances of cure are normally good. Early diagnosis can make a huge difference to the outcome as cancer can spread to other parts of the body.

We see all too many clients who have not been diagnosed or treated early enough. Whilst delays may be caused by a patient’s reluctance to seek medical advice, in some cases, a delay is caused by poor awareness of melanoma among medical professionals.

For example, we dealt with a claim brought by a diabetic gentlemen who had a non-healing foot ulcer.

Over the course of three years, the ulcer on his little toe mushroomed which led to amputation of his fourth and fifth toes.

Despite repeated courses of antibiotics and hospital reviews, his wound remained raw and unhealed.

Eventually melanoma was spotted by a surgeon during an unrelated hospital visit.

Unfortunately, by this stage the cancer had spread to his lungs and spine. He underwent further amputation and courses of palliative chemotherapy. Sadly, in this case, the diagnosis came too late.

A delay in diagnosis of melanoma, or any form of cancer, can be disastrous and sometimes fatal. Our role as clinical negligence specialists is to identify whether a delay in diagnosis was negligent.

If the evidence suggests there was an unreasonable delay in diagnosis, we will investigate what the effect of that delay has been on the patient and on the progression of the disease.

Whilst we can never put right what has happened, in many of the cases we deal with, we are able to obtain compensation to put the patient in the same financial position they would have been in if the negligence had not occurred.

This may include loss of earnings and pension loss, and the cost of care.

For the majority of the clients we represent, however, the aim behind seeking compensation is less about the financial aspect and more about preventing the same thing from happening to another family in the future.

For individual advice, please contact Julie Crossley.

Julie Crossley


Ashton KCJ Solicitors

T: 01473 849950


This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. We would advise you to seek professional advice before acting on this information.



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Alcohol was repeatedly sold to underage drinkers in Ipswich

An Ipswich man has pleaded guilty to selling alcohol to children from his shop.

The homeless in Ipswich tuck in to a hot meal at the Ipswich Winter Night Shelter. Photograph Simon Parker

The Ipswich Winter Night Shelter has launched a drive for volunteers ahead of opening its doors on December 2.

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central

A major conference aimed at pushing ahead with dramatic changes to Ipswich town centre is to be held at the end of this month.

Motorists were sent on a diversion nearly 30miles (47.7km) long

We all bemoan the diversions which close the highways and byways of Suffolk when roadworks are set up.

The Northgate High School team competing at a regional heat in Ford Dunton

Northgate High School pupils are preparing for a grand prix experience as they compete in the finals of the Greenpower International Kit Car competition.

Work is being stepped up at hospitals in Suffolk and north Essex to deal with “bed blocking” after new figures revealed more than 38,000 “bed days” have been lost because of the issue since 2012.

The area in Clarkson Street where two gangs fought on September 23

An Ipswich mother-of-two has told of how she was left terrified after getting caught up in the middle of fighting between groups of young men wielding bricks, lumps of wood and an axe.

Sharon Halls and Daniel Compton's baby, Evie

The mother of a premature baby born 12 weeks early in the Dominican Republic has said they are not expecting to travel home before December.

Nick Alston, Essex Police & Crime Commissioner.

Up to 15 police stations in Essex could be axed as the county’s force admits its property estate is “haemorrhaging money”.

The Orwell Bridge

There have been a number of crashes on the county’s roads this morning.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages