One of the most uncomfortable and perturbing truths in medicine is that cancer misdiagnosis occurs at an alarming frequency. According to the BMJ Quality and Safety Journal, cases of cancer misdiagnosis stand at roughly 28%. Also, according to the Johns Hopkins Hospital, 71 out of 6,000 tissue samples are bound to be from patients who received a cancer misdiagnosis.
What does this mean for you? It means that the chances of you receiving an incorrect cancer diagnosis are more common than you think.
A cancer misdiagnosis endangers the lives of patients. When a doctor misses certain findings that point to cancer, a patient may not receive treatment in the early stages of the illness. The patient may be deprived of treatments like radiation and chemotherapy.
Worse yet, a patient can receive the wrong kind of treatment if a doctor does not diagnose cancer correctly. For example, misdiagnosed cancer patients may receive treatment for respiratory diseases when they need treatment options for lung cancer. In short, an incorrect cancer diagnosis can be life-threatening and you may be able to receive compensation for it. Contact The Pagan Law Firm today for a free consultation to discuss if you have a valid claim.
Why Is Cancer Misdiagnosed by Doctors?
Even the best doctors can experience difficulties diagnosing cancer. We can attribute the frequency of cancer misdiagnosis to several factors. Here are some of the reasons why doctors misdiagnose cancer, especially during the early stage.
Lack of Information
One of the first pieces of information doctors use in diagnosing cancer is a patient’s medical history. Physicians must use the information by correlating it to a patient’s symptoms. The more thorough the medical history is, the more likely physicians will come up with accurate diagnoses. Of course, any failure to take all the necessary information constitutes medical malpractice on the part of the physician.
Incorrectly Prescribed Testing Procedures
At times, doctors will misdiagnose cancer, confusing it with other diseases. When this happens, the results can be catastrophic as a cancer misdiagnosis leads to poor medical care.
After noting the patient’s history, a physician must order the right testing procedures to rule out other illnesses. Diagnostic procedures like biopsies are instrumental to the early detection of cancerous cells. However, in some cases, doctors will fail to provide the proper testing leading to a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.
Symptoms May be Similar to Other Diseases
Almost any kind of cancer will share symptoms with other illnesses. For example, breast cancer that has metastasized to the lower back can appear as kidney failure. The symptom of fluid retention and lower back pain can confuse a doctor into ordering dialysis instead of chemotherapy.
Nevertheless, having similar symptoms does not relieve doctors from their responsibilities to produce a cancer diagnosis. Even if these shared symptoms manifest themselves, doctors must exercise their expertise as required by their professional duty of care.
What To Do If You Receive a Cancer Misdiagnosis
Unfortunately, most people do not suspect a cancer misdiagnosis until they’re past the early stages of the disease. This scenario is especially true for commonly misdiagnosed cancers like breast cancer, lung cancer, and skin cancer.
If you suspect that doctors missed certain findings that point to cancer, there are several steps you can take. Take the following steps if you suspect that your doctor misdiagnosed cancer or failed to prescribe the right treatment.
Get a Second Opinion
If you think your doctor has not given you the proper treatment, you have the right to seek a second opinion from a different physician. While the findings of another physician won’t always invalidate an initial diagnosis, they can indicate the error of your first physician.
Get Further Testing
As you get a second opinion, you must subject yourself to further testing. Diagnostic tests like a biopsy or some form of surgery can help confirm whether or not you have cancer.
File a Medical Malpractice Case With a Personal Injury Law Firm
With a second physician’s opinion and tests, you now have sufficient evidence to file a medical malpractice case.
With medical malpractice cases, you must get representation from a medical malpractice law firm. Call us for a free consultation if your doctor misdiagnosed cancer or failed to render cancer treatment.
How We Can Help
If your doctor has misdiagnosed cancer, you need an attorney who can handle medical malpractice claims.
Our malpractice attorneys can help you in several ways. First, we can file your case within New York’s three-year statute of limitation. As a result, you can rest assured that your case finds resolution within that time or sooner.
We can also investigate the facts surrounding your misdiagnosis claim by examining your medical records and the findings of other physicians. With evidence, we can build a compelling case that allows you more leverage at the negotiation table.
Also, we can protect you from lowball settlement offers from the hospital and its insurers. By negotiating and fighting for a fair settlement, we can help you recover compensation for the many mistakes your physician made in diagnosing your cancer. We never settle for less, and your full compensation is our goal.
Lastly, by having our malpractice lawyers in your corner, you can take legal action in and out of the courtroom. While we have a successful track record in recovering settlements without litigation, we can represent you in court as well. We never back down, and you can bank on our legal experience and expertise in New York.
Let us help you recover compensation for damages following your cancer misdiagnosis.
Let Us Represent You in New York
It’s bad enough to receive a cancer diagnosis. However, the results can be even more life-threatening when your physician fails to diagnose cancer. An incorrect or delayed diagnosis can place you at risk in several ways. You can receive treatment that can potentially harm you or aggravate your cancer. It’s also possible that your cancer progresses as you’re denied the right treatment.
If you suspect that your doctor misdiagnosed cancer, don’t delay. Reach out to us and let our medical malpractice attorneys represent you in your case. Get a free consultation and experience legal representation and counsel that fights for your rights in New York.