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Leukaemia Medical Negligence Solicitors - UK Cancer Compensation Claims


Leukaemia is a type of cancer that affects the white blood cells which are manufactured by the body�s bone marrow. There are four main forms of leukaemia including: acute myeloid, chronic myeloid, acute lymphoblastic, and chronic lymphocytic. Acute forms of the disease come on quite abruptly and progress rapidly. Urgent treatment is needed to keep this condition from spreading. Chronic conditions develop quite slowly and often occur over the course of years. The most frequent symptoms include recurrent bruises, infections, abnormal bleeding, and anemia. Late diagnosis or mis-diagnosis of leukaemia may be due to medical negligence and give rise to a personal injury compensation claim for damage and loss.

Leukaemia is named for the leukocytes, or the white blood cells, which form mutations before they are mature and then become cancerous. These cells reproduce out of control and do not allow normal white cells to be produced. This means the body is not able to adequately fight infections within the body. Red cells that are necessary for oxygen transportation in the blood are also suppressed. Cancerous cells can then spread to the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and even the brain.

Following accidents, leukaemia is the second leading cause of death in children aged two to fifteen. It is the most common type of childhood cancer, making up one third of all cases.


Leukaemia can be diagnosed by an examination of a blood sample under a microscope. That being said, cases of lymphatic leukaemia require a sample of bone marrow to be biopsied for confirmation of diagnosis.

Most cases of misdiagnoses of leukaemia occur when a physician performs surgery and initially dismisses the early symptoms of the disease as something less serious, or completely unimportant. This dismissal can lead to important follow up tests not being done, which means a definitive diagnosis will never be made, or it will be made too late. This is a form of medical negligence. Late diagnosis or mis-diagnosis of leukaemia may be due to medical negligence and give rise to a personal injury compensation claim for damage and loss.


The most common treatment for the condition of leukaemia is chemotherapy which is often used in combinations with a stem cell or bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, the high doses of chemotherapy that are needed to kill the cancer also kill the bone marrow which is needed for the production of new white blood cells. This is why a stem cell or bone marrow transplant is so critical to a successful treatment. Regrettably, if the condition is not diagnosed promptly or not diagnosed properly the prognosis for adults with leukaemia is poor. Any time that is wasted can be quite detrimental to the patient on a variety of levels. The key to a successful treatment is the same as with other types of cancer: as early a diagnosis as possible, prompt treatment, and adequate treatment.

Leukaemia Medical Negligence Solicitors

Late diagnosis or mis-diagnosis of leukaemia may be due to medical negligence and give rise to a personal injury compensation claim for damage and loss. If you or someone you know has suffered or perished because of a misdiagnosis of leukaemia, you need to understand that you have rights, and you may be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your injuries. Our team of skilled medical negligence solicitors regularly handles cases having to do with misdiagnoses and can help you throughout every phase of your case. All of our cases are taken on a no win no fee* basis. We operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. As soon as your case settles, you will receive a lump sum payout. Please contact us today by means of phone, email, or the contact form on this website to find out how we can help. All of our solicitor consultations are complimentary and there is never any further obligation. Taking legal action against a negligent medical professional will not only allow you to obtain justice and secure your financial future but you will also be helping to protect others from the same mistakes.

Leukaemia Overview

Leukaemia is form of cancer that begins in tissue that forms blood. Normal white blood cells start as stem cells in bone marrow. Stem cells grow to become different types of white blood cells. If there is a type of stem cell that mutates its DNA, it will grow out cancerous cells of the variety they belong to.

The types of leukaemia can be categorized into how quickly the disease develops. There is chronic leukaemia, which grows slowly and changes slowly. There is also acute leukaemia, which grows quickly and the patient deteriorates rapidly without treatment. Acute leukaemia cells are nonfunctional cells as far as white cells go. They expend all their energy dividing.

Leukaemia can also be grouped depending on the type of white cell affected. This means that leukaemia can be separated into lymphoid cells or myeloid cells. Leukaemia involving lymphoid cells is called lymphoblastic, lymphoid or lymphocytic leukaemia. Leukaemia involve myeloid cells is called myelogenous, myeloid, or myeloblastic leukaemia. This leads to four main types of leukaemia:

  • Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia or CLL. It grows very slowly and affect patients older than 55.
  • Chronic myeloid leukaemia. It grows slowly at first and then gets more active over time. It affects primarily adults.
  • Acute lymphocytic leukaemia or ALL. This affects lymphoid cells and grows more quickly. It is the most common type of leukaemia in young children.
  • Acute myeloid leukaemia or AML affects myeloid cells and grows out of control. It occurs in both children.

The leukaemia cells travel throughout the body like regular white cells. The symptoms depend on where these cells collect in the body and on the number of cells involved. Chronic leukaemia patients may have few or no symptoms and may be found only on routine blood testing.

People with acute leukaemia feel sick and go to see their doctor. They may have vomiting, confusion, headaches, lack of muscle control, seizures or symptoms suggestive of involvement of the kidneys, digestive tract, lungs, heart and genitourinary tract.

Typical symptoms include:

  • Fevers or night sweats
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Mass in the abdomen
  • Easy bruisability
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Frequent infections
  • Pain in bones and joints
  • Weight loss without trying

While these symptoms can be attributed to a number of things, if you have these symptoms, it is a good idea to see your doctor for further evaluation. The doctor will do a general physical examination and a complete blood cell count to see what the cells look like and how many abnormal cells there are. A bone marrow biopsy is the only way to know if the leukaemia cells are residing in the bone marrow. A bone marrow aspirate is using a thick hollow needle to remove samples of bone marrow. A bone marrow biopsy uses a thick needle that is thick enough to get a piece of bone and some bone marrow.

Other tests used to help diagnose leukaemia include:

  • Cytogenetics. This looks at the chromosomes of cells from blood samples, bone marrow, or lymph node samples. The test can show better what kind of leukaemia you have.
  • Lumbar puncture or spinal tap. It allows the doctor to check for leukaemia cells in the central nervous system.
  • Chest x-ray: this is a test to look for swollen lymph nodes or other chest disease.

There are several options for treatment. In some cases, there is watchful waiting as it chronic leukaemia. There is chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, biological therapy and stem cell transplant. Often, many different modalities are used. The choice of treatment depends on the type of leukaemia, the person�s age, and the presence or absence of leukaemia cells in the cerebrospinal fluid.

The goal of treatment is to make the symptoms go away and to destroy leukaemia cells. This is called a remission. During a remission, the patient may need further treatment to prevent a relapse of the disease. This is also called maintenance therapy or consolidation therapy. With the latest treatment, many people with acute leukaemia can be cured.


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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