When a doctor diagnoses cancer early, the prognosis is very positive. Treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can provide a cancer patient with many choices and optimism for the future. However, when a doctor fails to diagnosis cancer or provides a delayed diagnosis, the cancer may be more much more challenging to treat. The later the diagnosis is given, the less chance of defeating the cancer.
Cancer is classified from stage 0 (the least critical) to stage 4 (the most advanced). If a doctor could have diagnosed your cancer when it was in the earlier stages, then it is more likely that it could have been treated.
Cancer symptoms can have the same traits of other diseases, so it is vital that doctors perform proper testing. Delayed diagnosis may occur if a doctor fails to follow up on a patient’s specific complaint, or dismisses the patient’s symptoms as insignificant.
Doctors often use tests such as mammograms, colonoscopies, PAP tests, PSA tests, and biopsies to detect cancer. Malpractice may occur if a doctor fails to order these crucial tests or administers the tests improperly. Or the doctor may order the proper tests, but the radiologist or pathologists misinterprets the results, thereby delaying the diagnosis.
Your New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer will retain experts to determine how much time passed from when you should have been diagnosed until the time you were finally diagnosed. This issue is central to any failure to diagnose case. If your doctor failed to properly diagnose your cancer, but the negligence resulted in a short delay of days or even weeks, it is less likely that your medical malpractice claim will be successful. However, if the failure to diagnose resulted in a treatment delay of months or years, it is far more likely that you can successfully prove a negligence claim.
The most common types of cancer that doctors fail to diagnose include:
Your New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer will likely retain expert analysts to review your case. Damages in medical malpractice cases often include lost wages, the cost of past, present, and future care, and pain and suffering, possibly for the rest of your life.
If you or someone you love was given a delayed cancer diagnosis, call New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers Gersowitz, Libo & Korek at (800) 529-9997.