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The Trauma of a Delayed Cancer Diagnosis

Published on July 9th, 2018

delayed cancer diagnosisA cancer diagnosis is devastating enough, but a delayed cancer diagnosis can be the equivalent of a death sentence for some people. There is still no cure for cancer, but effective treatments have been developed that improve survival rates and minimize the effects of this disease. Recovery from cancer is markedly improved when the disease is caught and treated early.

Failure to Diagnose Cancer Is Medical Malpractice

When cancer is identified in the early stages, there is a better chance the disease can be treated with gentle or one-time interventions so the cancer can be prevented from spreading. Removing a tumor may be enough to protect a patient from suffering through chemo, radiation, or the awful side effects of cancer treatments.

When a doctor misses the initial signs of cancer, this is considered a delayed diagnosis. Perhaps the disease was caught later, but identifying it earlier – especially if the patient had suspicions of a health problem and sought advice and treatment – can make all the difference in recovery and outlook.

There are so many cancer treatments that can improve a patient’s quality of life and boost their potential for recovery, if the physician provides the proper standard of care. Doctors are human and they make mistakes, but many of them qualify as medical malpractice, whether intentional or unintentional:

  • Failure to diagnose cancer and therefore administering no treatment.
  • Delay in cancer diagnosis and therefore a delay in treatment.
  • Incorrectly diagnosing cancer as another health problem and providing improper treatment.
  • Diagnosing the wrong type of cancer and giving incorrect treatment.
  • Negligence in administering treatment.
  • Delaying or missing treatments resulting in progression of cancer.

The Fallout of a Delayed Cancer Diagnosis

Ask any patient who has been the victim of a delayed cancer diagnosis what their individual consequences were and they might answer with the following:

  • Painful treatments.
  • Major surgery.
  • Lengthy chemo, radiation, immunotherapy, or other treatment.
  • A condition too advanced to effectively treat.
  • Mental and emotional pain and suffering as well as physical suffering.

Reasons a Doctor Fails to Diagnosis Cancer

Patients place great trust in doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to have the knowledge, confidence, and experience to recognize symptoms, order the proper tests, and make an accurate diagnosis. When there is a failure to diagnose, there could be various contributing factors to this negligence, including:

  • Failing to order appropriate tests.
  • Misreading test results or x-rays.
  • Errors in the medical chart.
  • Overlooking details on the medical chart.
  • Neglecting to refer to a specialist.

Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim for a Delayed Diagnosis?

A medical malpractice claim can help you recover the cost of treatments and procedures you would otherwise not have had to undergo as well as compensation for lost wages, disability, disfigurement, pain, suffering, and the deprivation of normal life. Contact Thurswell Law for a free consultation. We do not charge any fees unless you collect. Call (248) 354-2222 today.

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