Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney Philadelphia
In general there are 2 different ways in which a doctor can fail to properly diagnose a patient with cancer. Failure to properly read/perform diagnostic tests or failure to recognize the signs of cancer, and therefore not give the patient the appropriate test in the first place. Cancerous tumors are still missed by doctors despite the use of colonoscopies, mammograms, blood tests and MRIs. When cancer is misdiagnosed, the chance to treat it at an early stage is wasted. When such a delay happens, the patient’s prognosis and odds for a successful treatment are reduced. Instead, the patient must undergo a more rigorous course of treatment with a lower likelihood of eradicating the cancer. When cancer is misdiagnosed, it is likely a case of malpractice. If so, our team of lawyers is experienced and prepared to pursue a negligence lawsuit on your behalf.
There are numerous types of cancer misdiagnosis as this disease can affect any organ in the body as well as cancer of the blood (leukemia) or bones. Each cancer has different treatment and prognosis depending the type and stage. Below are details on some of the more common forms of cancer and the potential for misdiagnosis.
Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis
If breast cancer is detected early, it can usually be treated successfully. However, breast cancer is frequently unnoticed by doctors and radiologists. Here are three of the more common types of breast cancer misdiagnosis.
- Incorrect interpretation of a mammogram
- Failing to biopsy a detected mass in the breast
- Failing to investigate when a patient reports finding a mass
If breast cancer treatment is delayed, the chances for recovery and long-term survival are lowered. Even a delay of a few months can have a major impact on the patient’s hopes for a speedy recovery from treatment, especially if the cancer is in a later stage. Such inaction allows the cancer to grow and potentially spread to other parts of the body. Cancers that are in later stages are more likely to kill, more likely to recur and are less likely to be cured.
In addition to mammograms, there are other cancer symptoms, including nipple discharge, pain in the breast or reddening of the breast. Delayed detection of breast cancer can result in a mastectomy or more intense chemotherapy or radiation treatment that could have been avoided. When your doctor doesn’t diagnose breast cancer, you have the right to file a medical malpractice claim. If your doctor’s negligence decreased your odds of survival, you can consult with a medical malpractice lawyer at Rosenbaum & Associates to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.
Colon Cancer Misdiagnosis
To prevent colon cancer from developing, colorectal polyps must be removed before they become malignant. These polyps take years to develop. They can be found by performing a colonoscopy. To perform a colonoscopy, the doctor inserts a long, slender tube with a tiny camera on the end into the rectum. If there are any polyps, the doctor will perform a biopsy to determine if they’re cancerous. Some symptoms of colon cancer include abdominal pain, bleeding from the rectum and unexplained anemia. Once again, delayed treatment can reduce the odds of the patient’s recovery from colon cancer.
Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis
The most effective way to screen for cervical cancer is with a pap smear. A pap smear samples cells from the uterine cervix surface and the vaginal wall to check for precancerous activity. Some doctors require yearly pap smears. The American Cancer Society recommends pap smears every three years after two consecutive negative yearly exams. Because pap smears are read by labs, your doctor should also check the pap smear to be sure it was properly interpreted. Symptoms of cervical cancer include atypical vaginal discharge and sporadic bleeding. If the cancer is not detected in its early stages, treatment will be more severe, and the likelihood for recovery decreases.
Contact an Experienced Misdiagnosis Attorney in Philadelphia
Rosenbaum & Associates has experts who can check the hospital’s testing process. They can review pap tests to see if the lab made an error when the test was reviewed. For more information on this topic, call us at 1-800-7-LEGAL-7, or contact us online for a free case evaluation.