Failure to Diagnose Cancer

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States, with estimated deaths of more than 567,000 annually. The US National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results estimates that nearly 12 million people in the United States are living with some type of cancer at any time.

While cancer treatment is improving every year, it nonetheless remains a deadly disease.  In virtually every case, the earlier a cancer is diagnosed, the better the prognosis and long-term survival. Conversely, the longer a cancer is left undiagnosed, the higher the chance the cancer will spread and ultimately prove fatal.

Difficulty to Detect Cancer Symptoms

When a patient experiences symptoms consistent with cancer, it’s critical that the physician or healthcare provider take all medically reasonable steps to determine whether cancer is present, even if there are other possible explanations.  The reason is simple.  The healthcare provider must first rule out the cancer that can kill you.  The rationale is obvious.  These steps typically involve detailed examinations, screening tests, and biopsies. If cancer is found, prompt treatment is usually prescribed.

Unfortunately, cancer symptoms can share many of the same characteristics as other medical conditions.  This may explain why the failure to diagnose cancer (and the failure to diagnose other medical conditions) make up a significant number of medical malpractice cases.

Why Was a Cancer Diagnosis Not Made?

When a doctor does not properly diagnose cancer during an initial examination, it’s important to find out why. Did the doctor fail to recognize the symptoms? Did the doctor fail to properly examine the patient based upon the symptoms that the patient was experiencing?  Should further testing have been ordered? Should a biopsy have been taken?

To prevail in a medical malpractice action concerning the failure to diagnose cancer, the plaintiff (the party bringing the lawsuit) must show that the doctor failed to meet the standards of good medical care in some manner, and that the patient suffered injuries as a result.  Doctors can fail to meet the required standard of care by not performing examinations that should have been performed, by not recognizing symptoms, by not ordering testing or having a biopsy taken which would have been prudent based upon the symptoms of the patient, or by failing in some other way to meet the standards of proper medical care.

If a doctor fails to meet the standards of proper medical care, damages must also result in order for a victim to recover in a medical malpractice case.  Damages may range from the death of a patient that might not otherwise have occurred, to an increased chance of death based upon a delay in treatment that resulted from a failure to make a proper and timely diagnosis.

What to Do if Your Doctor Failed to Properly Diagnose Cancer

If your doctor failed to timely diagnose cancer, call us so that we may learn about your case.  We will discuss with you what is required to win a medical malpractice case, and tell you about the defenses that are likely to be presented by the doctors and healthcare providers and their insurance companies. We will carefully explain exactly what we will do to determine whether medical malpractice occurred, and if it did occur, what we will do to try to prove your case.

When a Failure to Diagnose Medical Malpractice Occurs, We Fight Hard to Get Our Clients the Damages to Which They Are Entitled

Firm founder Jim Dore has the expertise, the years of personal injury and medical malpractice experience, and the resources necessary to aggressively fight for the just compensation to which you may be entitled.  Call us so that we may learn about your case, and so that you can meet us.  There is no obligation, and the initial consultation is free.  If we proceed with your case, we will work hard to prove fault and damages so that you may collect the full measure of damages to which you may be entitled.

As with other personal injury cases, we accept failure to diagnose cancer on a contingency fee basis.  This means that we are only entitled to a fee if we obtain compensation for you.

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