Proper Diagnosis is Critical in Achieving Cancer Treatment Goals
When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, one of the first questions he or she asks is what treatments are available and appropriate under the circumstances. However, there are additional factors health care providers will consider before getting to that point. Medical experts at the Mayo Clinic explain the importance of staging, i.e., evaluating the patient to determine the extent of the cancer’s presence in the body. From there, a physician can assess the goals of cancer treatment and get the patient started on a plan of care.
Of course, the entire process of staging and identifying medical objectives starts with a proper diagnosis. You could experience delays in achieving your goals – or they could be thwarted entirely – through a failure to diagnose cancer. If you have concerns about errors by a health care provider, it’s important to contact a Florida cancer misdiagnosis lawyer right away. An overview of the various goals of cancer treatment may also be useful.
Goals of Cancer Treatment: There are numerous approaches to treating cancer, but the exact methodology will depend on multiple factors. The first two considerations are the type and stage of the cancer; then, health care providers will also review your overall physical health, emotional well-being, and your own preferences. With your doctor, you can weigh the risks and benefits of different objectives, such as:
- It may be possible to completely cure your form of cancer, enabling you to live a normal life once you’re free of the disease. Of course, this may not be an achievable goal for every situation.
- You may be a candidate for primary treatment, where the objective is to completely eliminate all traces of cancer from your body. Various forms of care may fall under this approach, but the most common – and effective – approaches include surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.
- Adjuvant treatment typically follows primary treatment, to kill off any traces of cancerous cells that remain. By achieving this goal, you may also reduce the risk that cancer will recur.
- Any approach to cancer treatment may include side effects, which can be eased through palliative care. Hormone therapy is an example, but surgery and medication can also relieve signs and symptoms.
Additional Treatment Options: Based upon the goals described above, there are other types of treatment for cancer – aside from surgery, radiation, and chemo. You may be eligible for:
- A bone marrow transplant, which can help your body make healthy blood cells – thereby enabling you to take advantage of higher doses of chemo;
- Immunotherapy that makes cancer more visible to your immune system, so your body uses is natural abilities to fight cancer; and
- Targeted drug therapy that acts as a poison to cancer cells.
Talk to a Florida Medical Malpractice Attorney About Your Rights
If you suspect that a doctor made an incorrect cancer diagnosis, you may have legal options under Florida malpractice laws, and our Miami medical malpractice lawyers at Freidin Brown, P.A. can explain them in more detail. Please contact our offices to set up a no-cost consultation, where we’ll review your circumstances and tell you more about how these claims work.