Vaginal Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims | Bolt Burdon Kemp Vaginal Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims | Bolt Burdon Kemp

Find lawyer icon
Find your Lawyer

Free call back
Contact us
Round the clock support
Won't shy away from difficult cases
Committed to swiftly progressing claims
Medical Negligence

Vaginal Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims

A diagnosis of vaginal cancer will have a huge impact on your life.  If your cancer has got worse because of medical negligence then this can make a diagnosis even harder to deal with.

We know that you will face many difficulties following your diagnosis.  We look to make the legal process as easy as possible by ensuring that you and your family have access to the best support available, as well as providing you with expert legal advice.

Contact us for an informal chat with one of our legal experts, no strings attached
Get in touch

We have significant experience of cancer negligence claims.   Our expert solicitors will handle your claim professionally and sensitively, and are available at a time to suit you.

If you feel that you have experienced negligent medical care please contact our medical negligence team.   Most claims are funded on a no-win-no-fee basis.

Vaginal cancer – the facts

The vagina is a muscular tube that extends from the cervix to the vulva, to enable menstruation and childbirth.

Vaginal cancer is rare, with fewer than 300 women diagnosed each year in the UK.   Secondary vaginal cancer is more common.  This is when the cancer starts in an area close to the vagina such as the cervix or womb, and then spreads to the vagina.

There are different types of vaginal cancer. The most common is squamous cell.  This is where the cancer starts in the cells that line the upper part of the vagina.  It predominantly affects women over 60.  Adenocarcinoma is a rarer form of vaginal cancer.  It starts in the glandular cells and usually affects women under the age of 30.   Other rare types of vaginal cancer include melanoma, small cell carcinoma, sarcoma, lymphoma and clear cell cancers.

The risk of vaginal cancer increases with age, and if you have contracted the human papilloma virus.

Symptoms of vaginal cancer

The early stages of vaginal cancer are often symptomless.  In fact 20% of women diagnosed don’t have any symptoms at all.  Early signs may be picked up in a cervical smear test.

The symptoms of vaginal cancer can vary.   However, about 80% of women will have at least one, or a combination of the following: 

  • Bleeding between your periods or after menopause
  • Bleeding after having sexual intercourse
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Vaginal discharge that has an odour or is blood stained
  • A lump or growth in the vagina
  • A vaginal itch that won’t go away

These symptoms are also caused by other more common conditions. However, it’s important to see your GP as soon possible to exclude cancer.

Going to see your doctor

If you start to develop worrying symptoms you should book an appointment with your GP.

Your GP will ask you about your symptoms and your medical history.  Your GP should also do a full pelvic examination, and may do an internal examination.  Your GP may then refer you for further tests or to a gynaecologist.  A gynaecologist is a doctor who specialises in female reproductive health.

You may also be referred to a gynaecologist following an abnormal cervical smear test.

A biopsy may be done to make a diagnosis, determine which cells have been affected and the type of vaginal cancer you have.

Vaginal cancer misdiagnosis

It can be difficult for your GP to know whether your symptoms are cancer or symptoms of a less serious condition. It may be appropriate to wait to see if your symptoms continue. If they do, you are likely to need to be referred to a specialist.

There are some ‘red flag’ symptoms that indicate you may have vaginal cancer and need to be referred to a specialist.  These are contained within the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines.  These say you should be referred to a specialist urgently if you have a lump in, or at the entrance of, the vagina.  An urgent referral means that you should get an appointment with a specialist within 2 weeks.

As with other types of cancer, it is important that a diagnosis of vaginal cancer is made as early as possible to give the best opportunity for treatment to be successful.  Sadly, sometimes cancer is not diagnosed as early as it should have been.

A delay in diagnosing vaginal cancer can happen as a result of:

  • A failure by a GP to carry out a proper examination
  • A failure to refer you for further tests
  • A failure to refer you to a specialist
  • An abnormal test result not being followed up
  • A failure to provide appropriate treatment
  • Your symptoms being mistaken for a different illness or condition

If you have experienced the above, you may be entitled to compensation.  We appreciate that no amount of money can truly compensate you for the delay and its consequences, however it may help you at a time you need it most.

In addition to compensation for the difference the delay has made to your condition, you can also recover the cost of other expenses that you and your family incur. This includes the cost of future private medical care.

Our Insights

Raising awareness of prostate cancer symptoms this Men's Health Week

In recognition of Men’s Health Week which runs between 10-16 June 2024, I wanted to talk about prostate cancer – the most common form of…

By Joshua Hughes
BBK Manifesto: Treat whistleblowers in the NHS fairly

The Government must protect whistleblowers and listen to the concerns they raise. Better reporting from staff within the NHS will help improve the service for…

By Joshua Hughes
BBK Manifesto: Eradicate health inequality for those from ethnic minority communities

The NHS must prioritise raising awareness of conditions that specifically impact ethnic minorities, BBK says after discovering huge disparities in care experiences. Our Manifesto for…

By Olivia Boschat
BBK’s Manifesto for Injured People #ChampioningChange

Over the last eight months, we have been working on Bolt Burdon Kemp’s Manifesto for Injured People. At BBK we are passionate about supporting injured…

By Jonathan Wheeler
Read all posts

Some of Our Accreditations

See more of our accreditations

We’re here to help you.

Want to talk to one of our experienced lawyers? We can call when it suits you for a no-obligation, strictly confidential chat.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser.

This site (and many others) provides a limited experience on unsupported browsers and not all functionality will work correctly or look its best.