There are several ways in which medical malpractice can occur when a cancer diagnosis is involved.
The failure to diagnose cancer is a common occurrence, unfortunately, because each type of cancer is unique and presents with its own symptoms. In many cases, the failure to diagnose cancer results in decreased life expectancy, painful medical procedures, dramatic alteration in lifestyle or the death of a patient. To successfully fight cancer, it is important for a patient to receive prompt detection and treatment. Physicians who fail to perform sufficient tests to determine the presence of cancer have likely engaged in medical malpractice, which is why a person harmed in this way should not hesitate to obtain the assistance of a skilled attorney who can make sure that they obtain compensation for resulting damages.
How Medical Malpractice Occurs Involving Cancer
Most often, a physician will fail to perform the tests that are necessary to determine whether a patient has cancer. Sometimes, a pathologist or radiologist might misread a test or confuse a malignant tumor as benign. In other situations, test results might even be misinterpreted. The types of cancers that are most often misdiagnosed include breast, kidney, lung , ovarian, prostate, rectal, skin, testicular, thyroid, uterine, and leukemia.
What Constitutes Cancer Misdiagnosis
A cancer misdiagnosis is a serious problem and can occur in several different ways. First, a medical professional can fail to diagnose cancer when cancer should have been detected based on common age-based tests, available screening methods, and symptoms presented by a patient. Second, a medical professional might diagnose a person with cancer when they actually do not have the disease. This is called a false positive and can result in a person having to go through unnecessary treatment like chemotherapy and surgeries. Third, a medical professional might diagnose one type of cancer as another type of cancer. For example, a person might be diagnosed as having lymphoma when he or she actually has an advanced form of another cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes.
The Impact of Failure to Diagnose Cancer
When a physician fails to timely or properly diagnose cancer, patients can end up facing serious consequences. Sometimes, a patient might have to undergo rounds of chemotherapy and surgeries that are more intense than the patient would have otherwise faced. Patients might also end up facing a shorter life expectancy than they otherwise would have. In some cases, a delay in treatment might result in the cancer spreading throughout a person’s body making it impossible to effectively treat. Given these reasons, it is critical that a physician accurately diagnoses cancer in a patient.
Speak with an Experienced Attorney Today
The legal counsel at The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan has over 35 years of experience helping people who have been harmed by cancer misdiagnosis and malpractice. During your initial free consultation, our medical malpractice lawyers will outline your various options to obtain the compensation that you deserve. Contact our law office today for assistance.