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Study shows danger of delayed treatment of lung cancer


For Newton patients who are diagnosed with cancer, there will undoubtedly be a sense of fear and trepidation that they are facing such a deadly disease regardless of the kind of cancer it is. However, coping with such an illness may be made easier with the knowledge that there is a treatment plan for it and it can be dealt with. Nevertheless, even if there was not a failure to diagnose cancer and the patient received an accurate diagnosis, other issues might arise that can cause a spread of disease, worsened condition and death.

Studies into lung cancer discovered that sometimes the optimal treatment for these patients is not being followed through. This includes the discovery of the lesion, diagnosis, staging and the treatment provided. Patients who have are believed to have lung cancer often wait too long to receive the final treatment. In some instances, steps are bypassed completely to determine how best to combat the disease. This can lead to delayed treatment and a reduction in the survival rates.

Studies examined the records of 614 patients who faced lung cancer surgery at two different facilities. These were categorized into the detection of the lesion, the diagnosis through biopsy, staging through radiology, invasive staging and finally treatment. Time intervals, how often the steps were taken and other factors were considered. 92 percent were found to have lung cancer. 5 percent had a non-long primary tumor. 3 percent had lesions that were found to be benign.

27 percent did not have a diagnostic procedure before surgery. 22 percent did not have imaging to see the stage of the cancer. 88 percent did not have an invasive staging test before surgery. In addition, it took longer than six months for some patients to have surgery after the initial indication that there might be lung cancer.

These issues are not to be discounted when it comes to treating cancer. If there is a mistake or a failure to follow these steps in a timely fashion, it can cost precious opportunity to more effectively treat the disease. Those who believe they have been subjected to this kind of delay or have lost a loved one after these delays may want to research whether they are able to pursue compensation for the harms suffered.

Source: healio.com, "Treatment delays, missed diagnostic testing common among patients with lung cancer," Aug. 12, 2015

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