Despite great advances in cancer treatment in recent years, cancer still kills more than 7.9 million people around the world on an annual basis. In many cases, the most important aspect of treatment is early detection. For instance, 99% of patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer at Stage 0 or Stage 1 are alive five years later. Predictably, the survival rate decreases rapidly if a diagnosis is missed, and the five-year survival rate of patients diagnosed at Stage IV is only around 20%. Since early detection of cancer is crucial, medical malpractice due to a misdiagnosis of cancer is on the rise. In the United States, roughly 1 million people are diagnosed with cancer each year and an estimated 12% of these cases involve some form of misdiagnosis. These mistakes can have tragic consequences, causing unnecessary suffering and financial hardship.
If you or a loved one has experienced any form of a cancer misdiagnosis, call the Boston medical malpractice lawyers at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. today at 617-225-2100 for a FREE evaluation of your case. We have decades of experience handling all kinds of medical malpractice claims, and will work to get you the compensation that you deserve.Delay In The Cancer Diagnosis
A cancer misdiagnosis can occur in several different ways. When a doctor fails to diagnose the disease in a timely manner, it is often due to the doctor's failure to order the proper tests. This may occur because the doctor did not take the time to listen to the specific complaints of the patient or because the doctor is not qualified to make the decision. Most health insurance companies require patients to visit a family doctor or general practitioner and obtain a referral before seeing a specialist. Sometimes this doctor may not have the experience to identify the appropriate symptoms, causing a delay in the diagnosis.Misdiagnosis Of Cancer
A second category of misdiagnoses occur when a doctor or lab technician improperly administers a test or fails to correctly interpret its results. This can include an improper sampling of tissue, incorrectly reading an xray, or simply interpreting a lump as benign when in fact it is cancerous. Misreading lab results may cause the doctor or specialist to mistake cancer for another condition, leading to unnecessary tests which can be invasive and expensive. While this takes place, the patient is losing valuable time to begin the correct treatment as the odds of becoming cancer-free quickly decrease.False Positive
Though not as common, a third type of cancer misdiagnosis can take place when a doctor delivers a cancer diagnosis, though the patient is perfectly healthy. This may result in expensive and invasive medical testing. In the most extreme cases, a patient will begin the debilitating process of radiation or chemotherapy treatment for the misdiagnosis. This type of mistake can obviously cause severe psychological distress, as well as physical pain and suffering.Negative Results Of An Erroneous Diagnosis
Delay in a cancer diagnosis allows the disease to progress, and more drastic types of treatment are usually required. The higher doses of chemotherapy cause significantly more suffering and add increased expenses to a situation that is already financially strained. In the worst case scenario, cancer is diagnosed too late in the process and the patient succumbs to the disease, leaving loved ones to contemplate a wrongful death lawsuit. At Bellotti Law Group, P.C., we understand the effects of a cancer misdiagnosis, including increased physical and emotional harm, extra medical bills, and lost wages. Negligent doctors and specialists should be held accountable for a misdiagnosis.
Contact a Boston medical malpractice attorney at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. today about your options.