Failure or Delay in Cancer Diagnosis

Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Philadelphia

Cancer is the most devastating disease of our time, and it knows no prejudice in taking or diminishing the lives of millions of Americans from all walks of life every year. Some 1.3 million people are diagnosed with cancer each and every year, and often times their only hope for survival is early detection and aggressive treatment. When cancer is misdiagnosed or diagnosed late, effective treatment may be intensive or impossible. The result may be a metastasized cancer that requires more extensive chemotherapy, bone marrow transfusions, and organ or tissue removal. In severe cases, a misdiagnosis or late diagnosis could be a death sentence.

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Researchers at The John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore revealed some startling findings regarding misdiagnosed or late diagnosed cancer. They found that one out of every 71 cases was misdiagnosed and 1-in-5 cancer cases were misclassified. Misjudging the type of cancer, the aggressiveness of the cancer, or the stage the cancer is in could dramatically impact a patient’s prognosis. Our Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Golomb & Honik, P.C. have decades of experience helping victims of cancer misdiagnosis or late diagnosis hold negligent medical professionals accountable for their actions and recover the financial compensation they need for medical expenses.

Importance of Early Cancer Diagnosis

Time is of the essence when dealing with cancer. Failure to diagnose and treat cancer in its early stages allows the cancer to spread and can limit treatment options, as the cancer increases in severity. When caught early, most cancers, like breast cancer, have a 98% five-year survival rate. A misdiagnosis or late diagnosis of cancer can necessitate more aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatment, which may adversely impact a patient's health.

The very medication cancer patients need to fight the spread of their disease can compromise the immune system and cause liver and kidney failure, especially when treatment is intensified due to a late diagnosis or misdiagnosis. Although not all instances of cancer misdiagnosis or late diagnosis are due to medical negligence, there are a number of mistakes healthcare providers can make when you seek their expertise in determining whether your symptoms are related to cancer.

Errors in Cancer Diagnosis

There are a number of factors related to human error that can contribute to a misdiagnosis or late diagnosis of cancer including:

  • Dismissing or ignoring symptoms and related causes
  • Improper or inadequate testing
  • Lab mistakes
  • Lost lab or biopsy results
  • Misreading the results of X-rays, mammograms or other tests
  • Failing to report or act on the results of X-rays, mammograms, blood work, or other tests
  • Using faulty diagnostic equipment
  • Reporting wrong results or to wrong patient
  • Failure to refer patient to appropriate specialist
  • Failure to appropriately screen for cancer in high-risk patients
  • Failure to recognize symptoms of cancer

Doctors are not always legally responsible for diagnostic errors. Yet when cancer is misdiagnosed or diagnosed too late, it is important to review the chain of events to determine if negligence was the reason you were not diagnosed. Numerous medical professionals could be responsible for misdiagnosing cancers or failing to diagnose cancer, including primary care doctors, surgeons, radiologists, dentists, dermatologists, pathologists, oncologists, and more.

Experienced Legal Counsel for All Cancer Patients

At Golomb & Honik, P.C., we have helped numerous individuals who have been misdiagnosed with cancer or diagnosed too late, including those diagnosed with:

  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Skin cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Rectal or bladder cancer
  • And more

Our Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers can protect your rights!

If your cancer was not diagnosed or diagnosed too late, you may be able to file a lawsuit. Negligent doctors and medical specialists should be held accountable for their mistakes, especially when their mistakes have led to more aggressive cancer treatment. Don't wait to seek our help with this stressful matter.

For the passionate and caring legal services you need, turn to us for help as soon as possible.