Oncology is a very complicated field of medicine. As a result, medical mistakes are very common.
Oncologists specialize in diagnosing and treating various types of cancer. As a large portion of people in the United States enter their elderly years, the number of people afflicted with cancer is increasing. The United States has also been experiencing an increase in young adult cancers. Fortunately, if caught early enough and properly treated, the survival rate for most cancers increases significantly.
The National Cancer Institute reports that there is over 100 types of cancer that can attack humans. The type of cancer is designated by the part of the body the originates in. For example, if the cancer develops in the lungs and then spreads throughout the body it is called lung cancer.
Common Causes of Oncology Malpractice
The following are some of the most common ways an oncologist can commit a mistake or malpractice that harms a person:
Delayed diagnosis: It is critical that cancer patients get promptly diagnosed, which is why any delays could result in serious harm to the patient. Delays allow cancer to spread throughout a person’s body and progress to later stages. Cancer is harder to combat with chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatments once it advances to the later stages of cancer. One of the most common reasons for delayed diagnosis occurs when an oncologist mistakes a benign tumor for a malignant tumor.
Failure to consider medical history when creating a treatment plan: Oncologists must take a patient’s medical history as well as any risk factors into consideration when recommending a treatment plan. These risks must be communicated to patients to make sure they understand the benefits and risks of the treatment and are able to make an informed decision about what type of treatment to consent to. Too much radiation can overwhelm and shut down a patient’s vital organs. Oncologists need to make sure their patient’s body can withstand the treatment they are proposing.
Failure to order the proper tests. One of the most common causes of misdiagnosis is a physician’s failure to use the proper diagnostic tools. Not only is it important for an oncologist to conduct imaging testing, it is also important for the oncologist to select the appropriate type of imaging tests. Failing to perform a biopsy is another common form of oncologist malpractice.
Ineffective communication with the patient. Cancer treatment is an evolving field that depends on the most recent developments in medicine and technology. Patients who are not fully informed about the nature of their treatment plan can be left unaware of certain lifestyle changes they can make to improve their chances of surviving cancer.
Mistakes made during treatment. While there are various proven treatments to combat cancer, most of these treatments result in serious conditions including severe nausea and fatigue. If improper treatment is provided, a person can end up facing more serious consequences than usual.
Poor follow up after remission. When a cancer patient no longer shows any symptoms of cancer and there is no longer a presence of the original tumor or cancer cells, a patient is considered to be in remission. It is critical that an oncologist continues to monitor a patient’s progress after this point, to make sure that the patient remains in remission.
A Skilled Medical Malpractice Attorney Waiting to Help With Your Case
At The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan, our legal counsel has over 35 years of experience in helping people impacted by medical malpractice obtain the compensation they deserve. People who have been impacted by oncology malpractice should not hesitate to contact our firm for assistance. Speak with us today to schedule an initial free consultation, during which time our legal counsel can discuss the various options available to you and your family. From start to finish, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
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