Medical Negligence

Three unnecessary chemotherapy treatments for wrong cancer results in 77-year-old receiving £12,500

July 3, 2019
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Written by Saima Mazhar, Partner & Head of Clinical Negligence

A 77-year-old man has received £12,500 in compensation after experiencing three unnecessary cycles of chemotherapy when a hospital failed to appropriately diagnose a return of prostate cancer.


Gary Voller, 77 From Hertfordshire, received compensation after Fletchers Solicitor’s Fiona Swarbrick represented him in a case against the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in Essex.


The Essex-based hospital agreed a settlement after admitting to incorrectly diagnosing the Claimant’s cancer as bladder cancer rather than prostate cancer and providing chemotherapy treatment to Mr Voller when it was inappropriate and unnecessary to do so.


Speaking on behalf of Mr Voller’s experience, Fiona said:


“Being diagnosed with cancer is always an emotional and distressing time.


“To add to Mr Voller’s distress, he had to endure 3 sessions of unnecessary chemotherapy.


“These sessions were clearly very upsetting for him and could easily have been avoided had the correct diagnosis been made by the Trust.


We hope this award goes some way to helping Mr Voller move forward with his life.”


Mr Voller, now retired and a full time Carer for his wife, first underwent radical radiotherapy for prostate cancer in 1995 which involved a perianal prostatectomy.


Four years later, Mr Voller experienced bilateral pelvic lymphadenectomy due to adenocarcinoma.


When Mr Voller was first made aware of the cancer (1995), he was the picture of health working for a drug company in Essex.


After initial treatment to the cancer over a ten-year period, Mr Voller generally felt well in himself but did still hold concerns around his prostate.


Mr Voller and his wife moved away from Hartford to Clacton in Essex and in 2007 he started experiencing similar symptoms to when he first became ill in 1995 and believed that for the good of his family, he would be better moving back to Hertfordshire.


Throughout 2011, Mr Voller’s PSA levels (indicative of prostate cancer) were noted to be rising and in Jan 2012, he was wrongly-diagnosed with bladder cancer and obtained three cycles of chemotherapy.


In this time, Mr Voller’s prostate cancer had actually returned and he had just started caring for his wife who required Alzheimer’s care.


Mr Voller moved to Cotton Drive, Hartford, in 2013 but continued to attend the Princess Alexandra Trust.


After falling ill again, Mr Voller’s diagnosis should have been for prostate cancer (instead of bladder cancer) where he should have started a course of effective treatment.


This treatment was not in fact started until 1 year later, which would have prevented the tumour from having a further year’s growth and after Mr Voller had had 3 sessions of unnecessary chemotherapy.


This prompted Mr Voller to contact Fletchers Solicitors for legal representation where a claim was made for three unnecessary cycles of chemotherapy and the delay in the correct treatment commencing and associated pain and suffering.


In conclusion to the case, a settlement was agreed between the Trust and Mr Voller whereby the hospital admitted that had Mr Voller been given the correct cancer diagnosis, he would have avoided the chemotherapy and started appropriate treatment 1 year earlier.

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