Cancer is one of the most common health problems people can face. According to government statistics, more than 1.7 million people will be diagnosed with cancer each year, and more than 600,000 will die.
A timely diagnosis gives a cancer victim the best possible shot at recovery — anything less is a major disadvantage. A late diagnosis can turn what might have been a simple surgery to remove a tumor into something that requires intensive, long-term treatment. In other cases, a late diagnosis can be fatal.
There are numerous reasons that a doctor can overlook what should clearly be the signs of cancer:
- They fail to properly review your chart for your past medical issues.
- They don’t take a detailed family history — or fail to take it into account.
- They dismiss or ignore your symptoms as “nothing serious” to be concerned about.
- They don’t do a complete exam.
- They fail to order the appropriate tests to rule out cancer.
- The tests are ordered, but the results never make it back to the right place and aren’t reviewed.
- The test results are reviewed, but the doctor misreads them and overlooks what should be obvious.
- They decide that they can handle a questionable situation on their own, without the help of a cancer specialist to rule out a diagnosis.
Make no mistake about it: All of these situations are inexcusable and are examples of medical malpractice. When doctors fail to follow up and follow through, patients suffer unnecessarily — particularly when faced with something like cancer.
If you believe that your doctor’s errors led to a delay in your cancer diagnosis that harmed you — or it was missed altogether until it was too late — our office can discuss the possibility of a medical malpractice claim.