A cancer misdiagnosis is one of the more common medical malpractice cases and typically involves a failure to diagnose theory of liability. These cases can, however, involve those situations where a patient is diagnosed with cancer and endures some type of treatment, whether it be surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation, and the patient is then told that they never had cancer in the first instance. Though medical professionals have gotten much better at recognizing the signs and symptoms of cancer, and the detection tools have also become more sophisticated, many cases are still not correctly diagnosed.
If your cancer was not diagnosed or misdiagnosed, and the negligence of a medical provider caused your health to suffer, contact our Belleville medical malpractice lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC today at 618-277-3644. We will evaluate your case and help you decide if a medical malpractice claim is in your best interests.
Correct Diagnosis of Cancer is Important
A failure to diagnose a patient with cancer, when that cancer is present, represents a potentially disastrous mistake on the health provider’s part. Though there are almost 100 different sub-types of cancer, a unifying element in their treatment, and in the prognosis, is generally that the earlier the cancer is detected and treated, the better the possibility that the patient can recover and survive long-term. If the cancer is missed, however, and it metastasizes to other organs or areas of the body, it can become incurable, and ultimately lead to the patient’s death.
As a patient, you should take an active role in your own healthcare to help ensure that you give your physicians the best possible chance to correctly diagnose your condition. As an example, common cancer that is often misdiagnosed is mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the lining of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma), heart (pericardial mesothelioma), or other internal organs (generally peritoneal mesothelioma). This type of cancer is rarer than other forms of cancer and is only caused by exposure to asbestos. If the patient does not tell his physician that he worked in a field that involved his exposure to asbestos, the physician may misdiagnose this cancer as a different form of lung cancer. This can be disastrous for treatment, as there are specific treatments which cannot be utilized unless a correct diagnosis is made.
Additionally, a diagnosis of cancer where none exists can also have far-reaching effects on a patient. Many patients, when told they have cancer, will choose to have surgeries, if that is an option, to remove cancer. Patients may also undergo radiation and chemotherapy. Each of these treatments carries long-term potential health risks that could lead to further injury or a shortening of your life expectancy. While it may be a relief to be told that the initial diagnosis of cancer was wrong, that does not mean that your future health was not damaged due to the treatments you underwent.
Causes and Results of Misdiagnosis
There is a multitude of factors which could lead to a missed diagnosis. Some of the errors which care, providers, make include:
- Failure to recognize symptomology
- Failure to perform differential diagnosis
- Failure to order proper scans, labs, or other tests
- Failure to properly read ordered scan, labs, or other tests
- Unfamiliarity with the disease and its processes
- Improperly accredited or credentialed care provider
Just as the causes of a cancer misdiagnosis are diverse, so are the injuries which may result. A non-exhaustive list of possible misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose injuries includes:
- Birth Injury
- Brain Injury / Damage
- Heart Attack
- Internal Bleeding
- Spinal / Nerve Injury
A misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose a condition can have serious consequences for the patient. A serious injury is often times just the beginning. An injured patient, or their family, has to not only worry about recovering from that injury but the costs of medical treatment and the cost of lost time at work, among other expenses. It can be an overwhelming experience.
How Our Belleville Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyers Can Help
Our attorneys are well versed in the law which applies to medical malpractice, having won several significant verdicts and settlements. Many people are unaware that in patient injured by doctor’s, nurse’s or hospital’s malpractice can recover such expenses as:
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life or loss of a normal life
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Wage loss
At The Cates Law Firm, LLC, we strive to ensure that every victim, and, if appropriate, their loved ones, receive compensation for losses incurred as a result of a serious injury due to medical malpractice. If you or a friend or loved one has been seriously injured as a result of a missed diagnosis or another form of medical malpractice, we are here to help with your claim.
Call us today at 618-277-3644 for a no cost, no obligation consultation, or use the online contact form to let us know how we can help you.