Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. We currently recognize more than 200 types of cancer, some very rare and some relatively common. Cancers you’ve likely heard of include lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, mesothelioma, liver cancer, skin cancer and lymphoma.
Nearly half of all men and one-third of women will have cancer in their lifetime. Cancer does not discriminate when it comes to age, sex or race; however, most cancers can be found in those 55 or older.
Doctors do not know what causes cancer in most cases but there are certain “risk factors” that can increase your chance of getting cancer such as whether or not you drink alcohol or smoke, your age, diet, exposure to the sun and family history.
A delay in diagnosis of cancer can have disastrous consequences such as tumor growth and the spread of cancerous cells to surrounding tissues, lymph nodes or other parts of the body. Once a tumor grows or cancer metastasizes, the odds of successful treatment are reduced.
Although cancer technologies and treatments have improved significantly over the past few decades, with more cancers being found in early stages, misdiagnosis of cancer is still a troubling problem that can have deadly consequences. Misdiagnosis occurs for a number of reasons, including:
If you believe you are the victim of a cancer misdiagnosis, speak with a Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney from our firm as soon as possible.
No matter what type of cancer is involved, timely and correct diagnosis is crucial to a patient’s survival. A delay or misdiagnosis can give the cancer time to metastasize, greatly decreasing the hopes of successful treatment, and thus the survival of the patient. In addition, it can create a situation where an individual with cancer undergoes treatment for a condition that he or she doesn’t have, giving the cancer time to spread. Lastly, the person may not have cancer in the first place, leading to dangerous chemo treatments, surgery, and radiation that were all unnecessary.
In cases involving delay in diagnosis or misdiagnosis, we must determine whether the patient’s outcome would have been different if the diagnosis had been made earlier. To be compensable, the delay in diagnosis must have caused significant harm to the patient. In evaluating your case, we will determine whether the physician’s negligence had a negative effect on the prognosis.
Failure to diagnose cancer is often caused by failing to obtain the appropriate tests or, if the proper tests are obtained, mistakes in the interpretation of the tests. While the fault often lies with the physician, it is also possible that pathologists, radiologists and lab technicians may be liable.
The Colleran Firm has been aggressively fighting for the rights of medical malpractice victims for decades. The firm has five experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys that collaborate upon carefully prepared cases. One testament to that is a recent $5,000,000 case settlement awarded to a client whose breast cancer was not diagnosed in a timely manner. If you feel you may be the victim of cancer misdiagnosis, this is not a trivial concern. Let us fight for you during this difficult time. Call our firm today.