Is Cancer Misdiagnosis Medical Malpractice?
Cancer is a devastating disease that takes the lives of over 600,000 Americans every year. But there are many effective treatments for cancer, and two out of three patients who are diagnosed with cancer survive.
Early detection is crucial for effective cancer treatment. When cancer is discovered in time, doctors have more treatment options and the prognosis for survival is much greater.
When a doctor makes a misdiagnosis that causes a delay in treatment, the effects can be devastating for the patient. When it comes to cancer, diagnostic errors may result in excruciating treatment, unnecessary pain, and even death.
If you or a loved one has suffered negative consequences due to misdiagnosed cancer, talk to a medical malpractice attorney. When an avoidable treatment delay changes the patient’s outcome, a malpractice attorney can file a claim to recover the following types of damages:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Time missed from work
- Medical devices
- Reduced earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Reduced quality of life
- Wrongful death
How Misdiagnosis Happens
Cancer is often detected through routine screenings such as mammograms, colonoscopies, pap tests, prostate exams, and breast exams. It may also be discovered after a patient reports symptoms to their doctor, such as pain, lumps, coughing, headaches, bruising, bleeding, or unexpected weight loss.
If a doctor ignores the patient’s symptoms or fails to follow up when there is cause for concern, it can have catastrophic results. The longer cancer goes undetected, the greater the chances are that the patient will not survive.
Delayed treatment can also limit treatment options, leading to more painful and invasive treatments such as chemotherapy, which may involve significant pain and suffering.
Frequent causes of cancer misdiagnosis include:
- Failure to provide a full examination
- Failure to request necessary tests
- Failure to refer the patient to the right specialist
- Failure to request a biopsy
- Failure to screen a high-risk patient
- Failure to consider the patient’s family history
- Failure to acknowledge patient complaints
- Ignoring the patient’s symptoms
- Improper handling of specimens and tissues
- Failure to properly assess ultrasound, mammogram, colonoscopy, or other diagnostic tests
How Your Malpractice Attorney Can Help
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional causes injury to the patient as a result of actions that deviate from accepted medical practices. If a doctor fails to meet the standard of care that is accepted as proper treatment by medical experts in the field, the doctor may be held liable for harming a patient.
Your medical malpractice attorney will conduct a thorough investigation to find out whether the cancer misdiagnosis caused a meaningful delay in treatment that negatively impacted the patient’s outcome. If it is determined that a reasonably qualified doctor would not have made the same mistake, your attorney will file a claim on your behalf.
Failing to detect cancer is one of the most harmful and costly diagnostic errors a doctor can make. This may cause serious emotional trauma for the patient in addition to the medical harm that results. Treatment for the following types of cancer may be seriously hindered by failure to detect the disease in a timely manner:
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Our Team Is on Your Side
The medical malpractice attorneys at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. are nationally recognized leaders in our field and we’ve won record-breaking settlements for our clients. If you were harmed by somebody’s careless actions, then they should have to pay for it.
Call (303) 759-9945 to schedule a FREE consultation today. You won’t owe us anything unless we win you a settlement.