Thyroid cancer is a rare type of cancer, which prominently occurs in women falling in the age range of thirty-five to thirty-nine years and women above the age of 70. While thyroid cancer is also prevalent in men, women are three times more likely to be diagnosed with it.
Although this disease is extremely rare (attributing to only one per cent of all cancer cases in the UK), the number of cases has been increasing year by year. When it comes to thyroid cancer, medical negligence can occur if the diagnosis or treatment is delayed. You can refer to the ensuing guide if you wish to pursue legal action.
What is Thyroid cancer?
Thyroid cancer occurs in the thyroid gland, which is positioned at the base of your neck. This gland extricates two main hormones, which are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). T4 and T3 are responsible for regulating the growth and function of several cells and systems in the human body. Some of the key functions include managing the metabolic rate and circulating calcium in the blood.
There are four types of thyroid cancers, which include Papillary (most common), Follicular (moderately common), Medullary (Rare), and Anaplastic (extremely rare). Thyroid cancer has a slow prognosis, which is why it is extremely difficult to identify the symptoms. With that said, there are a few common symptoms that individuals need to look out for.
- A lump at the base of the neck, which gradually increases in size
- Swelling at the base of the neck
- Experiencing pain while swallowing
- Experiencing pain while breathing
- A frequent and consistent sore throat
- Mysterious hoarseness in the voice.
In case you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, it is essential to visit the doctor as soon as possible. With that said, if you have already visited the doctor, yet they failed to provide a diagnosis in time, you can submit a medical negligence claim and seek compensation for the cost of your treatment.
What are the treatments for Thyroid cancer?
Receiving a diagnosis, as early as possible, can increase the chances of defeating cancer. When it comes to thyroid cancer, the treatment plan is devised on the basis of your age, the stage of cancer, the size of the lump, as well as the possibility of achieving a partial or full cure. Typically, a surgery known as Thyroidectomy is performed. This can be both partial or complete, depending on the case.
Following the procedure, the individual is provided with a hormone replacement drug, known as T4, which enables them to regulate the hormone levels for the rest of their lives. Additionally, the patient is further required to schedule regular check-ups with the doctor to monitor the thyroid and hormone levels. Although, some individuals require radiotherapy treatments to make sure that all cancer cells are released from the system.
With that said, in the later stages of cancer, the treatment alone cannot provide a complete cure. However, chemotherapy treatments can slow down the spread of cancer in the body. In case the diagnosis was purposefully delayed by the doctor’s negligence, medical negligence claims can be made to acquire a settlement amount that can be used to cover the cost of chemotherapy.
What is the standard procedure for diagnosis?
In cancer scares, the medical institutons are required to follow the standard criteria to ensure the safety of the patients. When it comes to thyroid cancer, there are five stages that must be followed to confirm or deny the possibility of cancer.
Stage 1: Consultation Session
Stage 2: Thorough Examination of the Lump
Stage 3: Blood Test
Stage 4: Fine Needle Aspiration
Stage 5: Repeated Fine Needle Aspiration, Ultrasound, CT scan or MRI
You can ask your doctor to carry out these series of tests to provide you with an exhaustive result.
How can medical negligence occur?
Medical negligence can occur before or after the diagnosis is given. If you have experienced any of the following things during the doctor’s appointments, you can hire medical negligence solicitors in Scotland to submit a claim.
Delays in diagnoses and treatments
Medical negligence occurs when doctors refuse to consider the severity of your symptoms. Often times, cancer lumps are confused and reported to be benign, without carrying out proper tests. Moreover, it is also possible for the general physician to misread the results, which can further delay the treatment.
You also have the right to submit a medical negligence claim when the doctor postpones the treatment, despite giving you a diagnosis.
Performing surgery without consent
When it comes to providing treatment, surgery is the best approach. However, doctors are legally obligated to ask for your consent or the consent of parents/legal guardians (in case of minors or unconscious persons), prior to performing the surgery. If you were operated on without consent, you can seek compensation by making a claim.
While surgeries come with a risk, medical negligence claims can be made if the surgical errors made could have been avoided.
To make a medical negligence claim, consult with the professional medical negligence claim solicitors in Scotland.