A Doctor’s Failure to Diagnose Cancer Signs and Symptoms
The Diefenbach firm has significant experience with cancer cases against doctors. If you suspect that your doctor has failed to timely or properly diagnose your cancer in an earlier stage, contact us. We will take the time to listen to you and meet with you at a location convenient to you.
It is a doctor’s duty to notice signs and symptoms of common diseases and ailments. Unfortunately, doctors often fail to diagnose an illness or diagnose an illness too late. In the case of cancer, for instance, a late diagnosis can be the difference between life and death. A high percentage of medical malpractice cases are failure to diagnose cases. According to a recent study, 51.7% of ER-related malpractice claims against a hospital or emergency room physician involved misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or failure to diagnose an illness or disease resulting in the continued demise, prolonged illness or death of the patient. In a study, 20% of ER-related malpractice lawsuits involved failure to diagnose where no diagnosis was made (Suing for Medical Malpractice, Sloan et al, 1993). If your doctor has failed to properly diagnose a serious condition you have, you are probably still suffering as a result of it, and it may have progressed.
We pay physicians to truly analyze, examine, diagnose, and give us a clean bill of health. When doctors fail in that duty, their medical malpractice insurance companies should rightfully pay for the damages and consequences resulting from the doctors’ failure. You would expect compensation from a tire shop that installed a defective tire on your car, resulting in a horrific accident. Doctors are no different, and should be held to a higher standard of excellence than tire shops because of the unique, trust-based relationship they have with their patients. Know your legal rights. The failure to timely or properly diagnosis is malpractice. Various types of misdiagnosis can occur. A common cause of cancer misdiagnosis is the doctor’s failure to properly interpret test results. The radiologist might misread an x-ray film or the doctor may fail to understand the significance of the elevated level of a tumor marker. In some rare cases, the doctor might have noticed the change in the patient’s condition, but failed to timely inform the patient or provide treatment accordingly. These negligent acts performed by healthcare workers are considered medical malpractice. Victims of New York medical malpractice are strongly advised to seek legal assistance from a qualified NY medical malpractice law firm.
Various types of misdiagnosis can occur. A common cause of cancer misdiagnosis is the doctor’s failure to properly interpret test results. For instance, the radiologist may misread an x-ray film; or, the doctor may fail to understand the significance of the elevated level of tumor marker. In some rare cases, the doctor might have noticed the change of the patient’s condition but failed to timely inform the patient or provide treatment accordingly. These negligent acts performed by the healthcare workers are considered medical malpractice. Victims of New York medical malpractice are strongly advised to seek legal assistance from a qualified NY medical malpractice law firm.
It is important to draw the distinction between benign tumor and malignant tumor. Only malignant tumors are considered cancerous. Malignant tumor, as opposed to benign tumor, is not localized and can invade nearby tissues or organs. In the worst case scenario, the cancer can metastasize; in other words, cancer cells can travel to any other parts of the body through bloodstream or lymphatic system and form new tumors. Therefore, failure to diagnose cancer can have catastrophic consequences.
According to statistics from BreastCancer.Org, 1 out of every 8 women in the United States develops invasive cancer in her lifetime. Breast cancer is usually diagnosed with mammography. If the doctor feels an abnormal lump in the patient’s breast, the doctor would advise the patient to take a mammogram test. Mammography is an imaging test in which the doctor can view tumors inside the breast. If the doctor thinks that you have a tumor, s(he) would usually sign you up for a more detailed test called diagnostic mammogram. In the more detailed test, magnified images would be taken from multiple angles to ascertain the location and growth of the tumor. If your doctor has failed to inform you of all the diagnosis and treatment options, it may be a case a medical malpractice.
Failure to diagnose breast cancer has significant consequences for a woman. Not only would she suffer from prolonged treatment due to the delayed diagnosis; in most cases, the victim also encounters self-esteem issues after the breast removal surgery. If you or a loved one suffers from financial loss and psychological pain as a result of delayed diagnosis and treatment, you should consider consulting an attorney at a top New York medical malpractice law firm. Our New York lawyers for failure to diagnose from The Diefenbach Law Firm, PLLC can help you determine if there is a causal relationship between the doctor’s negligence and your medical condition. If your doctor’s error has indeed contributed to the preventable progress of your disease, we will help you bring a New York medical malpractice claim against the guilty party.
A large number of failure to diagnose cancer cases are against doctors who have committed failure to diagnose colon cancer. Each year, around 100,000 people are diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer in the United States. Colorectal cancer is also responsible for nearly 50,000 deaths in our country. It is not guaranteed, but colon cancer can usually be identified through health screening and exams. Colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure in which the doctor inserts an endoscope into the rectum and views the inside of the colon. This procedure is designed to obtain a sample of polyp, an abnormal growth of tissue, from the colon in order to determine if they are cancerous. There are more than one type of colon test. For example, Fecal Occult Blood Test and virtual colonoscopy are often administered before the patient goes for a traditional colonoscopy. The Fecal Occult Blood Test is an early test which examines blood in the feces. A virtual colonoscopy is test in which the doctor uses x-ray to obtain images of the colon. If your doctor has failed to give you a proper screening and his error leads to less-than-effective treatment of your condition, you may need to seek legal advice from a qualified medical attorney. Speak with an experienced New York medical malpractice lawyer if you have any questions regarding your case.
Cancer can be named based on their locations, but cancer can also be described according to the extent to which it has developed and spread. Doctors use cancer staging to describe the severity of cancer. For most types of cancer, doctors can use the “TNM” system in which “T” stands for primary tumor, “N” stands for regional lymph nodes, and “M” stands for metastasis. The “TNM” classification corresponds to the numerical system which we are more familiar with. In the numerical system, there are in total five stages of cancer. Stage 0 cancer means that cancerous cells can only be found in specific layers of cells. Stage I to stage III indicate the presence of large tumors and cancerous invasion in surrounding lymph nodes, tissues or adjacent organs. Stage IV is the stage in which cancer has spread to distant organs. Though most cancers can be classified using the aforementioned staging system, there are exceptions. For example, the designation of brain cancer is based on its cell type and grade. In sum, cancer staging can seem complicated and confusing for non-professionals. Therefore, during a consultation, patients should not feel embarrassed to ask their doctors to explain the meaning and implications of cancer stages or any other technical terms.
Gordon Diefenbach is passionate about helping patients with cancer or families who have lost a loved one to cancer.