May 31, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ -- There are fewer diagnoses more difficult than those who have been told they have cancer. Many times cancer can be treated through different drugs, therapies, or even sometimes diet. But there are of course many cases where the victim will not get better, no matter what is done. Still, the earlier the diagnosis, the more likely treatment will be beneficial. In fact, early diagnosis can often mean the difference between life and death. Whether cancer is caught through a routine exam, lab testing, or other cancer screening, it is the doctor or other medical expert who will know what signs and symptoms to look for.
However, there are times where cancer is misdiagnosed as something else, or undiagnosed altogether. While a diagnosis of cancer is tragic, being told your loved one is in the final stages due to a mistake that was never caught is beyond the pale.
Virtually any type of cancer you can think of can be misdiagnosed. Some of the more common types that are treatable, if they are caught before they metastasize, include:
- Colon cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Breast cancer
- Cervical, ovarian, or uterine cancer
- Melanoma and other skin cancers
- Renal or kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
To most of us, it would seem fairly straightforward when diagnosing cancer, but there are several ways in which a health care provider can miss it at any stage. Ways in which cancer misdiagnosis occurs include:
- Failure to perform a thorough physical exam
- Failure to take a careful history
- Failure to recognize early signs and symptoms
- Failure to follow up or communicate with the patient
- Communication breakdown between physician and medical facility or personnel
- Failure to offer or recommend cancer screening
- Failure to refer patient to proper specialists
- Failure to test due to patient finances
- Improper interpretation of lab or radiological testing
Any of these failures or mistakes can lead to amputation, painful treatment, or death - and is a case of medical malpractice. Families caught up in these types of situation can caught up in a litany of things that costs money. Medical bills, long- or short-term care, rehabilitation, and even funeral expenses add insult to injury. However, when this happens, people need to know that they may be able to be compensated. After all, it was their mistake, not yours.
If you or a family member has had a cancer misdiagnosis in the New Jersey or Philadelphia area, please contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Weiss & Paarz, P.C. for an initial consultation.