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Misdiagnosis/Failure to Diagnose Childhood Cancer

If your child was harmed as a result of failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis of a childhood cancer, you may need answers and you may want to protect your child’s rights and ensure that your child’s medical costs, long-term care costs, and future security are protected. Your child may be entitled to compensation and we’d like to help.

Childhood cancers are rare and the odds of survival are high. Approximately 75% of childhood cancers are curable if caught in time. Although there is no known way to prevent childhood cancer, there are effective treatment techniques, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, or some combination of the three. However, early diagnosis is key to the success of childhood cancer treatment.

Types of Childhood Cancer

Childhood cancers are different from those seen in adults. Except for blood-related cancers and brain tumors, the most commonly seen childhood cancers are rare in adults. The most common childhood cancers include:

Signs of Pediatric Cancer

Many of the classic adult cancer warning signs relate to carcinomas, and this type of cancer is rare in children. So, the warning signs of childhood cancer differ, in some respects, from those that may signal cancer in adults. Also, it’s important to remember that: the symptoms described below are not certain indicators of cancer but merely possible indicators that suggest additional testing; not all cancers can be diagnosed early; and not every late diagnosis in cancer is due to negligence or malpractice. Still, the risk of cancer is so high that doctors should make every reasonable effort to be alert to and follow up on warning signs, including the following:

  • Unexplained bruising.
  • Bone pain that is not localized to a specific area and that wakes the child at night.
  • Unexplained limping or inability to bear weight.
  • Persistent headaches (longer than two weeks).
  • An enlarging mass in the abdomen, neck, arm, or leg.
  • Chronic back pain.
  • Unexplained pain or tenderness in a specific area that does not improve within a few weeks.
  • Vomiting that persists for more than seven days.
  • Lymph glands that are swollen and remain so for several weeks, particularly in teens.
  • Weight loss that is not explained or that is quickly regained.
  • Other symptoms include very decreased activity, loss of appetite, fever, easy bleeding, bruising, or a red pinpoint rash (petechiae), as well as rapid visual changes.

This is not a comprehensive list and many of these symptoms are consistent with non-cancer conditions. But they merit a report to your physician and may signal a need for follow-up diagnostics, in order to avoid a misdiagnosis of childhood cancer.

Contact an Experienced Erie County Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If a physician or other health care provider ignored the early signs of a childhood cancer and cost your child an opportunity for early intervention and treatment, your child may have been the victim of pediatric malpractice and you may be entitled to help and compensation for the harm caused. Please contact the Erie pediatric malpractice attorneys at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. for a free evaluation of your case toll free at 814-833-7100 or locally at 814-833-7100.

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