Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. One of the factors contributing to cancer’s high mortality rate is the fact that the symptoms are not always easy to diagnose, and they often mimic other conditions. Even when a physician follows all accepted standards of care, it’s still possible for cancer to be diagnosed late—when more invasive treatment is required or when the condition has become terminal.
If you are being sued for the delayed diagnosis of cancer, it is important that you start planning your defense immediately. The medical malpractice defense attorneys at Lubell Rosen know what it takes to find success in these cases. With many years of experience in legal practice, our lawyers have the knowledge and resources needed to defend your interests. Schedule a consultation today by calling (305) 655-3425.
Common Reasons for Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer
As previously mentioned, it is entirely possible for the symptoms of cancer to be diagnosed late or misdiagnosed, even when a doctor performs diagnostic tests with textbook precision. Common reasons for delayed diagnosis of cancer include:
1. The symptoms were attributed to a different condition.
The symptoms of cancer often mimic those of different, less serious conditions. For instance, cancers of the head and neck might cause a sore throat, trouble swallowing, and/or voice changes—all of which can be attributed to a variety of other conditions. Colorectal cancer—one of the most frequently late-diagnosed forms of cancer—often presents symptoms including weakness, abdominal discomfort, and fatigue. These symptoms, again, can easily be attributed to other conditions.
2. Failure to order the appropriate diagnostic tests.
In most cases, the initial physical exam does not reveal cancer. But doctors should not ignore patients' complaints and must order the appropriate diagnostic tests given the patients' symptoms. If they fail to do so, they may be held liable for late diagnosis.
3. Failure to conduct diagnostic tests correctly.
Fatigue, inexperience, and a variety of other factors could result in a diagnostic test not being performed correctly. When this occurs and cancer is not detected, the patient may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. It is important that healthcare providers maintain detailed records of the sequence of procedures used and how they were executed to defend against any potential lawsuit.
If you are facing a medical malpractice lawsuit, turn to the AV-rated medical malpractice defense lawyers at Lubell Rosen. Call (305) 655-3425 or Contact Us Online to schedule a consultation.