Unfortunately, these days cancer has become more and more of a commonplace disease. Almost everyone knows someone who has battled cancer or has even suffered through the disease themselves. While the cause of cancer is not always known, physicians can often effectively diagnose and treat various types of cancer. However, on those occasions when cancer is misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all, a life threatening situation can develop for the patient.
Frequently Misdiagnosed Cancers
Common cancers that are frequently misdiagnosed leading to medical malpractice lawsuits include:
· Breast cancer
· Lung cancer
· Rectal cancer
· Prostrate cancer
· Ovarian cancer
· Testicular cancer
Statistics have shown that most cases of breast cancer malpractice are due to mismanagement of medical tests. The typical problem is when the severity of the breast lump or symptom is underestimated. A delayed breast cancer diagnosis can be extremely dangerous, as a more advanced cancer is harder to treat and more likely to spread.
The importance of early detection and treatment in cancer patient is crucial to their survival. For example, an incorrect diagnosis of lung cancer is often responsible for the unnecessary removal of a lung. A delayed diagnosis can be responsible for growth of the cancer, making it much harder to treat. Accordingly, the typical lung cancer malpractice case alleges misdiagnosis via poor diagnostic methods or the mismanagement of diagnostic tests.
Grounds for Cancer Malpractice Claim
Some of the most common bases of a cancer malpractice claim include:
· The results of a test were not reported to the patient
· Failure to perform a test that would have diagnosed the cancer
· Symptoms and their causes such as rectal bleeding, changes in bowel or bladder habits, nagging cough or hoarseness, a lump in a breast or an abnormal pap smear were ignored or not followed up on sufficiently by the health care professional
· Symptoms were identified but the patient was not referred to a specialist
· X-rays, mammograms or other tests were not interpreted correctly
· X-rays, mammograms or other tests were not properly administered
Failing to diagnose cancer can result in death or severe injury and is one of the leading causes of medical malpractice lawsuits. Cancer malpractice victims may be entitled to recover their medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages resulting form the missed diagnosis or negligent treatment.