It’s rather difficult to wrap your head around but, the reality is, doctors make mistakes all the time when it comes to diagnosing cancer. Unfortunately, when a cancer diagnosis isn’t made in a timely fashion, the patient can suffer irreversible damage.
If you or someone you love is the victim of medical malpractice — a preventable error made by a healthcare professional — you may be entitled to collect damages for your pain and suffering, lost wages and much more.
Often, the problem is made at the diagnostic level with regard to a doctor overlooking signs and symptoms, not listening to patient complaints, ordering the wrong tests or reading x-rays and lab tests inaccurately.
- Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer: Depending on the type of cancer, any delay in diagnosing and initiating treatment can mean the difference between life and wrongful death. Breast cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer and many other types of cancer, when diagnosed and treated early enough, have excellent prognoses. However, when a test is misread — a mammogram, for example — the cancer is permitted to grow and, in most cases, won’t be found until the disease has spread. Same thing goes for when a physician doesn’t order tests soon enough. It’s not unusual for a doctor to take a “wait and see” attitude. This type of lackadaisical approach to cancer diagnosis rarely ends well.
- Misdiagnosis of Cancer: Once again, early intervention is the best course of action when it comes to cancer treatment. Therefore, if the radiologist misinterprets an x-ray or the doctor doesn’t follow up on tests, the illness can be treated with inappropriate medications. These drugs can harm the patient in two ways: a) the cancer isn’t being treated properly and b) the erroneous drugs that are being taken can have their own negative impact on the patient’s already compromised immune system. An example of this might be if a lung x-ray is read and pneumonia is diagnosed but cancerous cells aren’t spotted. The antibiotics ordered to treat the lung condition won’t have any impact on cancer.
- Failure to Diagnose Cancer: This, perhaps, is the most egregious of the three medical malpractice issues regarding cancer diagnosis. It should go without saying that failure to identify cancerous cells or tumors, in any part of the body, means that the patient will go untreated completely.
Unfortunately, any diagnostic mistake regarding cancer can turn a tumor that is completely treatable into a condition that spreads beyond the capabilities of modern medicine. The result is premature and, most certainly, unnecessary death.
Please contact the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Andres, Berger & Tran about your misdiagnosed cancer. We will fight for maximum compensation for you and your family.