Cincinnati, Ohio Medical Malpractice Lawyer investigates Cancer Misdiagnosis, delayed cancer diagnosis and failure to diagnose cancer lawsuits
In a national study conducted in 2017, more than 20 percent of cancer patients who sought a second opinion at an advanced medical institution had been first misdiagnosed by their primary care providers.
Only a small portion of cancer patients who visited the Mayo Clinic for a second opinion had received the exact same initial diagnosis. Cancer diagnosis discrepancies are rather alarming, considering about 1.3 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer each year.
Cancer misdiagnosis can come about in different ways, including a diagnosis of cancer when that person in fact does not have cancer; a delay in diagnosing cancer, which is concerning in fast progressing cancers; and a misclassified cancer.
A failure to diagnose cancer, a wrong diagnosis of cancer (a false positive), and misclassified cancer can each be considered medical malpractice and may be grounds for cancer misdiagnosis lawsuits.
Common Types of Misdiagnosed Cancer
It happens far more often than it should: patients are diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, long after they have showed symptoms, and physicians and medical professionals failed to diagnose cancer. Then, it is a tougher battle, if it isn’t too late. Common types of delayed diagnosis cases and misdiagnosed cancer lawsuits involve the following:
- Breast Cancer
- Cervical or Ovarian Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Colon Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Skin Cancer and Melanoma
- Testicular Cancer
- Kidney or Renal Cancer
- Lung Cancer
Delayed Cancer Diagnosis
A doctor has a duty to suspect the worst outcomes in a medical observation, and although of course not every test should be administered–driving up medical costs–they should be cautious and protect patients.
To give a patient the best chance to beat cancer, it is critical to detect cancer cells early, before the cancer metastasizes and spreads to other areas of the body. Delayed cancer diagnosis and cancer misdiagnosis cases usually will be investigated, and in almost every case the doctor either failed to diagnoses cancer due to a lack of caution, or the hospital failed to adhere to basic medical standards.
Medical records will be obtained and reviewed by The Lyon Firm and medical experts, and we can determine the root cause the failure to diagnose negligence. Doctors may fail to perform tests due to their own arrogance, or the tests themselves may have been faulty or lost in the hospital registers.
Laboratory malpractice is more common than previously thought. A hospital lab can perform the wrong test ordered, they can perform an ineffective test, can mishandle biopsies, and can mislabel test results, resulting in false negatives and other incorrect results.
Cancer Medical Malpractice
When there is a suspicion of cancer through symptoms, a routine physical examination, or the specific results of cancer screening and laboratory tests, it is a medical professional’s responsibility to do everything to make a correct diagnosis. Cancer may be misdiagnosed in different ways, including:
- A failure to perform a thorough physical exam
- A failure to consult medical and health history
- Failure to follow up or communicate with patient
- Failure to recognize cancer signs and symptoms
- Failure to recommend or offer cancer screening and lab tests
- Improper interpretation of radiological or laboratory tests
- Failure to contact or refer patient to appropriate specialists
- Communication breakdown between doctors and medical staff
Failure To Diagnose Cancer Lawsuits
Failure to diagnose cancer cases are unique because every cancer case is different. A patient’s body reacts differently, and although there are usually similar symptoms and tell-tale signs of cancer, each cancer case needs to be treated with the utmost care.
With all of the modern diagnostic tools available in medicine, including imaging technology (X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans), blood tests and biopsies, it seems unlikely that cancer can go undetected or misdiagnosed. One problem is many illnesses look alike and present similar symptoms.
Lab technicians analyzing tissue may also wrongly identify the type of cancer cell, since cancer cells can look similar to others. X-rays and scans can also be read incorrectly. A delayed diagnosis will surely lead to delayed treatment and a worse cancer prognosis.
Researchers at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore reviewed tissue samples from 6,000 cancer patients across the country, and found one out of every 71 cases was misdiagnosed. As a result, victims of medical malpractice have filed cancer misdiagnosis lawsuits against those responsible for preventable mistakes.
Ohio Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawsuits
Diagnosing cancer has never been the easiest task for even experts. But hospital negligence raises the risk of cancers going untreated or delays in treatment when mistakes are made. In 2015, the National Academy of Medicine reported that most people will receive an incorrect or late diagnosis at least once in their lives. That could mean a premature wrongful death in many cancer cases.
The failure to diagnose cancer has become a serious medical issue in American society and in the medical industry. The cost of a failure to diagnose cancer can be a patient’s life, and there is no excuse for medical malpractice when doctor and hospital have every tool at their disposal.
Radiology or pathology negligence can easily result in a failure to diagnose cancer, and lead to wrongful death. Most doctors will act professionally and administer the proper tests. But there will also be negligent doctors that fail in their duties and a patient can take legal action.
Medical standards exist for a reason, and when a doctor and a medical team fails to adhere to protocol and fails to diagnose cancer, they may be held liable in medical malpractice and delayed diagnosis lawsuits.
If you or a loved one suffered from a delayed or misdiagnosis of cancer, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding cancer misdiagnosis lawsuits.