New York Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorneys
Cancer is found in several ways, and the type can determine how. For example, a mass may appear under or over the skin that you can physically feel. Other cancers, like pancreas and bone, are discovered through a CT scan, while masses in the brain are determined with MR scans.
Cancer misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor or medical staff does not detect or treat any form of cancer either aggressively or early enough.
Cancer misdiagnosis can also occur when a doctor attributes symptoms of cancer to another disease, or does not test for cancer when obvious cancer signs exist.
Failure To Diagnose Cancer
When their is a failure to diagnose cancer, the risk of death increases significantly, as do the costs for treating the disease. If you or someone you know has experienced a misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to compensation for medical malpractice. A misdiagnosis settlement cannot undo the pain and suffering you’ve had to endure, but it can help with expenses and missed wages.
Cancer Misdiagnosis Statistics
According to ABC News, when researchers from The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore reviewed tissue samples from 6,000 cancer patients, one out of every 71 cases was misdiagnosed. In one case, a biopsy was labeled cancerous when it was not, and up to one out of every five cancer cases was misdiagnosed.
In the U.S., medical errors are the cause of almost 100,000 unnecessary deaths per year and over 1 million preventable injuries. When misdiagnosed cancer is discovered it may require stronger, and more expensive treatment. Intensive measures, such as high dose chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause debilitating side effects, in addition to associated medical expenses.
Since so many types of cancer are becoming more and more preventable and treatable, early diagnosis is the most important key in making a full recovery. Cancer types that respond especially well to early treatment include breast, lung, prostate, colon, ovarian, cervical, testicular, and kidney.
Common Types of Cancer
- Lung and Bronchus
- Kidney and Renal Pelvis
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Prostate, Colon and Rectum
- Melanoma of the Skin
When cancer is diagnosed early on, the treatment and survival rate can increase remarkably. Today among women, breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths. However, when detected sooner rather than later, the chances of it spreading can decrease significantly. If confined only to the breast, the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent.
Another type of preventable cancer that is often misdiagnosed is colorectal cancer. According to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study only 45% of men and 41% of women 50 years or older who had a screening for colon cancer had screening or exams done for colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer can be 100% treated if pre-cancerous polyps and growths are discovered and removed early on.
Cancers that respond well to early treatment include:
Unfortunately, cancer is misdiagnosed. But how?
How Diagnosis Goes Wrong and Cancer is Misdiagnosed
Most cancer misdiagnoses are caused by a lack of proper and thorough care and testing. Other recurrent failures to diagnose cancer include:
- Failure to find an obvious lump during an exam
- Failure to properly analyze a test result
- Failure to order CT scans
- Failure to order X-rays
- Failure to order MRIs
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed the cancers most often delayed in diagnosis are lung, breast and colon. These cancers made up about 10 percent of doctor-reported errors. The majority of errors were attributed to neglect, with the physician failing to get a biopsy after a test result came back abnormally.
Though a doctor or medical staff can be held responsible for failing to diagnosis cancer, or for misdiagnosing the disease, the patient also plays a role in the process. Asking questions, making timely appointments and inquiring about further testing are all important for potentially preventing a misdiagnosis.
Any amount of hesitation or failure to diagnose can result in unnecessary treatments, costs, and a lower survival rate.
After a Misdiagnosis
If you or a loved one has been misdiagnosed, a doctor or medical professional may be responsible for your pain and suffering. However, before you consider pursuing a medical malpractice claim, it’s best to have a basic understanding of the law:
Doctors are not always held liable for all diagnostic errors that occur. In order for negligence to be determined, a patient will usually have to prove three things:
- A relationship with the doctor in question existed
- The doctor failed to provide skillful and competent treatment
- The doctor’s negligence resulted in harm or injury
Proving a doctor was negligent, which then led to injury, can be difficult. Besides the leading physician, other parties who can be blamed for medical errors include nurses and technicians. Therefore, you could benefit from the assistance of a professional attorney – someone who has experience in medical malpractice cases.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney
At The Oshman Firm, our focus is people who have suffered as a result of medical malpractice. We have decades of combined legal experience offer a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to assess your needs and help determine your best course of action. From making phone calls on your behalf to collecting medical records, we will handle all aspects of your claim, allowing you to focus on what’s important: moving on with your life.