Cancer used to be a death sentence. With advances in research and technology, however, early diagnosis and treatment are yielding better and longer lives. Prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, rectal cancer, cancer of the cervix and other cancers are being effectively treated. The key to successful treatment is early detection.
Delayed Cancer Diagnosis
As treatment for cancer has improved, so have the screening and diagnostic techniques. But when busy physicians fail to identify the signs of cancer and so do not refer a patient to an oncologist (cancer specialist), the advanced screening and treatment techniques are of no use.
The longer a diagnosis of cancer is delayed, the less easily managed it becomes. As the cancer spreads, the patient loses life expectancy, suffers diminished likelihood of successful treatment and is sometimes forced to undergo more invasive treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The patient's life is often profoundly disrupted as the patient misses work and suffers pain, scarring and other injury.
There are times when some cancers cannot be detected until they have progressed to a stage where they are difficult to manage. However, in most circumstances, a doctor should be able to diagnose the cancer or at least refer the patient to a cancer specialist for diagnosis.
Do I Have a Case for Delayed Cancer Diagnosis?
In order to recover compensation for an injured client, a Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer must prove not only that a doctor was negligent (careless or irresponsible) but also that the carelessness caused an injury. Sometimes, the most heartbreaking cases present when a doctor was plainly negligent (for example, the doctor missed the spot on the x-ray that revealed lung cancer) but the cancer was so far advanced or the delay so short that the cancer had not significantly progressed during the delay. On the other hand, if the medical evidence and qualified experts can demonstrate that a more timely diagnosis would have increased the chances of successful treatment or allowed for a less harmful treatment then the case has a very good chance of success.
Causation, or proving the link between delay and harm, is one of the key elements our Erie medical malpractice attorneys address very early in the investigation of a cancer misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis case. This element requires a thorough and comprehensive investigation and the assistance of the best qualified expert physicians in the field. At Purchase & George, we have the professional contacts necessary to effectively determine whether there was negligence in the diagnosis of your cancer, when that negligence occurred and how the delay affected you and your treatment.
Examples of Negligence in Cancer Misdiagnosis
If you believe that the early symptoms of your cancer were ignored or disregarded, you should seek the advice of a competent Pennsylvania cancer misdiagnosis attorney. Some of the examples of failure to diagnose cancer include:
- Failure to Recognize Common Symptoms of Cancer and Follow-up with the Patient
- Failure to Review Family/Patient History and Routinely Check Patients With History Based Risk of Cancer
- Improper Diagnosis of a Tumor as Not Cancerous
- Failure to Order Appropriate Tests, including CT, MRI or Biopsy
- Ordering the Wrong Tests
- Failure to Refer to an Oncologist (Cancer Specialist)
- Misreading Diagnostics (like X-rays or MRIs)
Contact a Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney
The Erie cancer misdiagnosis lawyers at Purchase & George have the knowledge and experience to accurately assess and thoroughly prepare your case. You may be entitled to compensation and we'd like to help you. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case at 814-580-5017 or toll free at 877-505-9548 or use our online contact form.