Cancer Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose
As most people know, cancer is a serious disease that spreads throughout the body, and if left undiagnosed or untreated, will eventually lead to a patient’s death in most cases. Unfortunately, a failure to diagnose or a delay in diagnosis of cancer can be devastating for patients who see the disease progress to a point where it cannot be treated or requires far more aggressive treatments. If you were diagnosed with cancer in the Philadelphia area and suspect your diagnosis was delayed or botched, there is limited time to act. Call our Philadelphia cancer attorney soon as possible for a confidential and free consultation.
How is Cancer Diagnosed?
Cancer is diagnosed by an expert, often an oncologist, who has thoroughly examined cell or tissue samples under a microscope. In some forms of cancer, tests are done on the proteins in cells, as well as DNA and RNA. Other imaging tests, such as x-rays, CAT scans, and MRI can show a growth in the body and a biopsy is ordered to determine if cancer is the cause. In the case of any cancer, from skin to pancreatic, it is vital to diagnose the disease as soon as possible to keep it from metastasizing, or spreading to an organ not affiliated with the original cancer.
How is Cancer Misdiagnosed?
Doctors can make many different mistakes when it comes to diagnosing cancer, but there are some common mistakes in how cancer is misdiagnosed.
Whenever a patient exhibits symptoms associated with a specific type of cancer, which can include anything from trouble urinating to headaches, doctors perform certain tests.
These can include:
- Colonoscopy – to detect colon cancer and other conditions
- Chest X-rays – to detect lung cancer
- Fecal occult blood tests – FOBTs performed on stool to detect colorectal cancers
- Mammograms and/or manual breast examinations – used to detect breast cancer in females and males
- PAP smears – to detect cervical cancer
- Prostate exam – to detect prostate cancer
When health care providers fail to perform these and other critical tests, or when they delay these tests for whatever reason, it may amount to medical negligence. Tests that were performed in a timely manner but were not evaluated correctly can also constitute a potential claim of medical negligence.
Certain types of cancers can mimic each other or other medical conditions and doctors who do not confirm a cancer before treating it may be doing more harm than good. This improper treatment for misdiagnosed cancers can have devastating, even deadly, results and amount to medical negligence.
Philadelphia Cancer Attorney
If you were diagnosed with cancer in the Philadelphia area and suspect your diagnosis was delayed or botched, there is limited time to act. Call our Philadelphia cancer attorney soon as possible for a confidential and free consultation.