Just hearing the word cancer pass from a doctor’s lips terrifies most people. However, most forms of cancer respond to treatment if caught in their early stages. Knowing this, patients who find themselves in the advanced stages of cancer because of a doctor’s failure to diagnose, are devastated.
Whether through routine physicals or because the patient has brought medical concerns to their doctor’s attention, cancer can often be detected when it is still in a stage that can be remedied.
Failure to diagnose cancer can occur for several reasons including:
- Failure to recognize or address common symptoms
- Improper administration of tests
- Improper reading of test results
- Failure to recommend tests due to financial concerns
Catching cancer in its early stages means a much greater chance of survival. Treatment, once the disease has progressed becomes more involved, more painful, and more dangerous. The results of failure to diagnose cancer can include:
- More invasive and aggressive treatment
- More expensive treatment
- Loss of income
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Long-term disability
- Premature death
Because of the nature of cancer many things can happen as the disease progresses causing further complications. Tumors that could have been removed early on can become inoperable and/or cause irreparable damaged to vital organs and other body parts. Some aggressive therapies, such as chemotherapy, which could have been avoided if the cancer was detected in an early stage, can cause severe pain and suffering and life threatening health problems. Skin cancer can often be removed with little or no visible scarring, when caught early, but may result in disfigurement or death if left to spread.
Patients and loved ones affected by a doctor’s failure to diagnose cancer may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Long-term care
- Lost income
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Burial expenses
If you or a loved one has been harmed by failure to diagnose cancer, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney today.