Being misdiagnosed in regards to cancer can be the difference between a person surviving the illness or losing their life. Medical professionals have an obligation to their patients to provide a proper standard of care and be careful and thorough when analyzing a patient’s symptoms and health history. In situations where doctors were negligent or lazy in their diagnosis process, call McEldrew Purtell today at 215-367-5151 to get advisement on your medical malpractice cancer case.
Cancer Misdiagnosis and Liability
It’s important to understand that a cancer misdiagnosis does not mean that the doctor is liable. Some forms of cancer are hard to diagnose or they show symptoms that replicate many other types of illnesses. Other cancers are very easy to identify with proper medical training and are more commonly seen, in which case a medical negligence claim may be easier to prove.
Common Factors that Lead to Cancer Misdiagnosis
- Not referring a patient to the necessary specialist.
- Failure to order the proper testing and screening for the given cancer.
- Forgetting to consider a patient’s family or personal medical history.
- Failing to interpret the results of medical testing correctly.
- Failure of diagnostic testing application.
- Forgetting to schedule important follow-ups.
- Misjudging symptoms of cancer or symptoms of another disease or condition.
- Sample mix up.
- Ruling out the diagnosis.
Most Commonly Misdiagnosed Cancer Types
Many cancers can replicate the symptoms of other conditions. However, these are the most commonly misdiagnosed cancers in Pennsylvania:
- Breast cancer: One out of every eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lives. However, some of these cases are initially misdiagnosed as non-cancerous cysts or tumors, breast inflammation, or fibrocystic breast disease. Certain medications also create symptoms of breast cancer, such as breast fluid leakage from the nipples.
- Lung cancer: Since lung cancer usually manifests in coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, it is easily confused with respiratory conditions like pneumonia. By the time lung cancer is considered, however, the cancer may have already spread past the lungs.
- Colorectal cancer: There are many types of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) that can mimic the symptoms of colorectal cancer. Ulcerative Colitis, IBS, and hemorrhoids all have similar symptoms.
- Ovarian/cervical cancer: About two-thirds of women with the disease are diagnosed incorrectly before their doctors get it right. Most of them turn to their physicians with painful symptoms, are quickly diagnosed and sent home without any extra testing. But that diagnosis was wrong, and those unordered tests could have identified the cancer causing their early symptoms.
- Lymphoma cancer
- Melanoma cancer
- Brain cancer
- Esophageal/Stomach cancer
Cancer is one of the most feared diseases and is terrifying to get a diagnosis of. Cancer can lead to extreme despair, stress, and financial strain. Worse, though, is having cancer and then watching helplessly as the doctor you trust fails to catch it, leaving you with no chance to fight the disease in its earliest stages and increase your chance of survival. Whether a doctor diagnoses you incorrectly or misses the cancer completely, it can be devastating for a patient. If you think you have suffered a cancer misdiagnosis, call McEldrew Purtell today at 215-367-5151 and schedule a free consultation about your case. Contact us today.