False Positive Cancer Diagnosis - Medical NegligenceLawyers

Cancer misdiagnosis does not only relate to healthcare practitioner failing to diagnose the presence of cancer but also applies to the opposite phenomena of a diagnosis of cancer when in reality there is no cancer present. This situation is known as a ‘false positive’ diagnosis and can have grave physical, psychological and financial impact on the victim. A false positive diagnosis of cancer usually occurs due to negligent technique which amounts to medical negligence. Unfortunately a false positive diagnosis is not a rare event and up to 40% of initial tests can be in error requiring re-testing however it is only when a final diagnosis is wrong that the real harm begins.

Our cancer medical negligence lawyers have solicitors offices situated in Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin.

Clinical Errors

The most serious danger that arises as a result of a false positive diagnosis relates to the commencement of cancer treatment which may include surgery, pharmaceutical drugs, chemotherapy and radiation. These actions are designed to kill living cells and as such are dangerous to health and may put life at risk for certain vulnerable patients. If a doctor insists on a certain course of action involving potentially dangerous treatment on the basis of inadequate testing, without alerting the patient to the potential for a false positive, it is without doubt a case of medical negligence by the doctor and it may also be a case of medical negligence by the cancer testing facility and the technicians or doctors involved in testing.

Damages Awards

Although patients who are victims of cancer false positive diagnosis are not suffering from cancer, damages can nevertheless be very substantial. Compensation is payable for the unnecessary treatment which may have involved considerable pain and suffering and time off work to recuperate from surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. Most patients who are the victims of false positive diagnosis experience extreme stress and anguish with vulnerable patients suffering from anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder from which they never fully recover even after a correct diagnosis. Patients have been known to make substantial financial losses through putting their personal affairs in order in anticipation of imminent death. In addition to pain and suffering for both physical injury and psychological damage a medical negligence claim will also include an application for compensation for all reasonably incurred financial losses.

Personal Injury Lawyers

Our specialist medical negligence lawyers deal with cancer medical negligence claims using the no win no fee scheme. If you would like free advice on how to protect your legal rights with no further obligation just use the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices.


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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here