Being told you have cancer is a stressful and devastating health event, but finding out that your physician made an error or delayed the diagnosis can be even more shocking. Unfortunately, researchers at the Mayo Clinic discovered that this scenario is more common than you think. The results of a study on second opinions shows that only 12% of initial diagnoses were correct when patients presented at Mayo. Just over 20% of patients, including some with cancer, received a distinctly different diagnosis.
Misdiagnosis of cancer can have profound consequences for a patient because many forms can be successfully treated after early detection. Mistakes can cause patients to lose precious time, undergo invasive surgery, or suffer permanent bodily harm. Many may even succumb to cancer when it becomes terminal due to delayed or no treatment. If you or a loved one was the subject of such an error, you should discuss your circumstances with a Florida medical malpractice and misdiagnosis lawyer right away. You can also read on for some important information.
Errors in Diagnosing Cancer: Questions regarding cancer typically come up because of a regular physical exam, lab screening, or based upon symptoms that you experience. However, your health care provider may overlook or make critical errors in detecting cancer, such as:
- Failure to conduct a comprehensive physical exam
- Neglect in following up on suspicions about cancer
- Not communicating with you regarding a potential cancer diagnosis
- Overlooking early onset or symptoms
- Failure to recommend cancer screening based upon known risk factors
- Neglect in thoroughly reviewing your medical history
- Improper reading and reviewing lab tests, cancer screenings, or radiology imaging
- Not communicating with other physicians, treating doctors, and other health care providers
- Failure to offer proper referrals
Any of these oversights or errors can lead providers to miss the signs that you have cancer or make a diagnosis long after you should have started treatment.
Types of Cancer Where Early Diagnosis is Critical: Though the details may vary, there are certain forms of cancer that must be treated as soon as possible. Some types are quite receptive to early treatment, so a patient could expect a full recovery. The time lag between detection and launching a course of treatment is especially critical with:
- Breast cancer, particularly invasive ductal carcinoma
- Cervical, ovarian, or uterine cancers
- Colon cancer
- Prostate and testicular cancers
- Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
- Kidney and renal cancers
Talk to a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer About Cancer Misdiagnosis
Mistakes in providing medical care, including cancer diagnosis errors, fall under the legal concept of medical malpractice. Florida law provides you with rights, so you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Our knowledgeable Florida misdiagnosis attorneys at Freidin Brown, P.A. can tell you more about your legal options, so please contact us to discuss your situation. We can set up a free consultation at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers to review your claim and determine an appropriate legal strategy.