The most well-known fact about cancer, all types of cancer, is that early detection and treatment greatly increase chances of survival and reduce the severity, pain and suffering, and cost of treatment. The more time that passes the greater the hardships and more likely that the cancer will be fatal. About 12% of cancer cases are initially misdiagnosed.
Cancer is overlooked or misdiagnosed for a variety of reasons including:
- Improper blood and tissue sampling
- Improper reading of tests
- Failure to recognize early warning signs
- Failure to order tests due to financial concerns
- Failure to follow up with patient
Delayed diagnosis and failure to diagnose cancer can have catastrophic consequences. The most overwhelming consequence is death, knowing that you or a loved one would have survived if the doctor or other medical professionals had done their job properly. No amount of monetary compensation can ever make up for the emotional suffering that comes from not only losing someone close to you, but knowing that it could have been avoided. It is important to remember that untimely death results in financial hardship and the negligent party should be held responsible, not only to help you handle the financial burdens which you incur, but also to deter future negligence and help prevent the suffering, and possible deaths, of others.
Failure to diagnose and delayed diagnoses of cancer can result in:
- More invasive treatment
- More expensive treatment
- Loss of limbs or organs
- Long-term disability
- Significantly increased recovery time
- Lost wages
- Physical pain
- Inoperable cancer
Some patients never show noticeable signs of health problems, and unsuspecting doctors overlook warning signs on routine tests. However, the purpose of routine testing is to catch serious health problems before they advance to life-threatening stages. Even more shocking are cases where cancer victims were aware that they may have cancer, and talked to their doctor about the symptoms they experienced, but health care professionals failed to respond to their needs. Neither scenario is excusable. Both display a level of care and professionalism that is below acceptable standards. Every cancer diagnosis is frightening at the least, and no one should be subjected to the added pain and fear of a delayed cancer diagnosis.
Certain types of cancer are more responsive to early treatment than others. Early detection in these types of cancer can make an even greater difference. Types of cancer which are particularly responsive to early treatment include:
Of course, failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis of cancer of any type can result in tragedy. Cancer patients and their families deserve just compensation when they suffer from this type of medical negligence.
If you or someone you know has been injured due to misdiagnosis, please contact Jacoby & Meyers Personal Injury Attorneys in Los Angeles, California.