According to a story from the Irish Mirror, 32-year-old Ben McGuire recently sued the HSE after claiming that the Cork University Hospital was unable to detect a pancreatic cancer tumor on a CT scan over a year ago. The legal action recently reached a settlement last week in which the hospital did not have to legally admit liability.
About Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most dangerous forms of cancer. The disease affects the pancreas, which is a glandular organ that is situated behind the stomach. Part of the reason that pancreatic cancer is so dangerous is that it rarely produces noticeable symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage and begun to spread. However, even when detected earlier, it is difficult to treat effectively. Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include being male, old age, African-American ancestry, family history, smoking, obesity, diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, and a diet heavy in red meat, processed meat, or meat cooked at very high temperatures. Symptoms include depression, upper abdominal pain, jaundice, diabetes, constipation, weight loss, and appetite loss. Treatment approaches for this cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Even with heavy treatment, pancreatic cancer almost always returns. The five year survival rate is just five percent. To learn more about pancreatic cancer, click here.
Cork University Hospital took a CT scan of Ben’s pancreas and confirmed that the reading came back normal, but another scan three months later at a hospital in Lithuania revealed that Ben actually had pancreatic cancer. Ben’s sister Donna claims that Ben’s urging to seek a confirmed diagnosis were ignored by staff at the medical center. The tumor had already spread to his liver by the time it was discovered.
The family says that many of their concerns were ignored until they began to seek legal action for what had happened. The entire process of diagnosis for Ben took around nine months and included visits with his general practitioner, two hospital visits, and two scans that either failed to detect his tumor or were not interpreted properly. The family claims that they have heard similar stories of poor care from others and that Ben’s situation is far from an isolated incident.