Cancer is unpredictable.
A person might develop cancer due to genetics, exposure, lifestyle, or pure bad luck. Cancer development is often out of everyone’s control. But when it comes to diagnosing cancer correctly and receiving treatments quickly, that is under someone’s control.
Receiving prompt treatment, which means an early or timely diagnosis, increases the likelihood a person will survive cancer. When a family doctor, radiologist, or even a specialist fails to diagnose cancer, you and your family are deprived of an opportunity to fight back and live through a devastating disease.
Furthermore, you might lose months with loved ones or only have a few weeks left of life by the time you are diagnosed correctly.
When a healthcare professional does not diagnose cancer, it is devastating for you, your loved ones, and anyone close to you.
Misdiagnosis is one of the leading reasons for medical malpractice, and often, it is preventable. Therefore, you and your loved ones might wonder what your options are for holding physicians accountable when they do not diagnose you properly and take years away from your life.
Failure to diagnose cancer is a common reason for misdiagnosis malpractice claims. However, not all misdiagnosed episodes of cancer are matters of malpractice. Instead, it comes down to the type of cancer, the stage it was discovered, the symptoms you had, the tests your doctor performed, and what your doctor did or did not do at the time.
A misdiagnosis might end up being nothing more than a tragedy if the doctor did follow their obligation to his or her patient and did the same tests and diagnostic workup another physician would have done as well.
If, however, your doctor deviated from the expected standard of care and you now suffer the consequences of a missed cancer diagnosis, you may have a case against them.
Some common indicators of malpractice when it involves a failure to diagnose cancer includes:
There are hundreds of types of cancers, and each with their various stages. However, the most common examples of cancer diagnostic errors include:
When a physician does not diagnose cancer accurately, the patient suffers in numerous ways. Most importantly, they lose out on treatment options. When cancer is caught in its early stages, it might still be operable, it may not have spread to other organs of the body, and it could respond well to chemotherapy or radiation therapy. However, a patient misdiagnosed goes through life while cancer spreads. And by the time they are diagnosed, it could have spread, become inoperable, or no longer will respond to chemotherapy – reducing a patient’s lifespan by years (sometimes decades).
Even if the patient is still a candidate for surgery and chemotherapy, they may have to endure more rounds and more serious surgeries than they would have if the cancer were diagnosed correctly in the beginning. The procedures are expensive, costly, and often painful. A patient’s quality of life and the interactions they have with loved ones diminish tremendously.
In the worst case, a patient dies before receiving the right diagnosis. Only during the autopsy is it discovered they were misdiagnosed and instead suffered from cancer.
If you were misdiagnosed with another illness but you had cancer, you may be entitled to compensation. Compensation in these cases covers more than just your medical expenses. It also considers your lost wages, pain and suffering, and the loss your family might receive because your life was significantly shortened due to a devastating diagnostic error.
Hold physicians, specialists, laboratories, and other health care professionals responsible for their misdiagnosis. Speak with an attorney from Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP, today. We can assist you with your malpractice case.
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