Did you know that there are over 100 types of cancer which can affect any part of the body? Early detection and treatment is crucial in managing the condition. However, per a report published in the ‘Journal of Clinical Oncology’ in 2007, more than 12% of cancer patients were initially misdiagnosed.
It is hard imagining a person who has been feeling unwell for some time. They have been to a health facility, been subjected to numerous tests and scanning yet they were treated for some minor ailment and allowed to go home when all along they had cancer. This is the worst thing that could ever happen. When you consider the fact that early detection plays a vital role in treatment if cancer then it becomes apparent that misdiagnosis is a big problem.
Improper tissue and blood sampling, combined with inaccurate reading of hospital lab results lead to most cancer misdiagnosis errors. Misinterpretation of mammograms and other screened tests could also lead to a subsequent delay in proper diagnosis. Sometimes it’s the doctor who orders a wrong test. Whatever the case, you deserve to understand that a cancer misdiagnosis violates your legal right and can give ruse to a viable medical malpractice lawsuit. In case you or a loved one is affected, feel free to contact Baker & Gilchrist for a review your case.
There are three facts about being misdiagnosed with cancer that you should be aware of:
Fact 1: lymphoma is the most misdiagnosed type of cancer. Lymphoma (cancer that affects the immune system) sits top in the list of commonly misdiagnosed cancers. Others are breast cancer, sarcomas, melanoma and cancer of unknown primary site in that chronological order. This is per a survey conducted and published by Best Doctors, Inc.
Fact 2: lack of expertize in the specialty area accounts for about 46% of cancer misdiagnosis. This is however not the only cause of cancer misdiagnosis. The others are inadequate sampling of the lesion, inadequate clinical information provided by the patients, failure to prepare correct staining procedures and inappropriate slide preparation.
Fact 3: it doesn’t hurt together a second opinion. As much as you trust your doctor to provide competent services, there comes a time when it makes sense to get a second opinion. To avoid the risk of a cancer misdiagnosis, request for a second opinion. Make an appointment with an oncology expert and ensure that they have access to all your medical records. They’ll review your case and order for new tests. Be specific about your symptoms.
The medical malpractice lawsuit for a cancer misdiagnosis can only start grinding if the following legal conditions are met:
• Did the doctor breach the professional standard of care – the plaintiff and the defendant present testimony from an expert regarding what a reasonable doctor would have done. This does not mean that a misdiagnosis automatically qualifies them for a breach of the professional standard of care.
• Were the consequences of the diagnosis avoidable? For the misdiagnosis to qualify as a malpractice then the plaintiff should suffer from an injury he or she wouldn’t have suffered without the breach of professional standard of care.