One of the most terrifying words that a person in Newton can hear from a medical professional is “cancer.” A medical issue that was of relatively minor concern can turn into fear for one’s life or the life of a loved one if the subject is broached. On the same token, when a person is told her or she has cancer and that ends up being misdiagnosed cancer, this too can be damaging. Understanding the frequency of misdiagnosed cancer and how it can happen is an important step in the process of moving forward. That can include seeking compensation for the mistake.
A survey involving 400 medical professionals set out to discuss the problem of cancer misdiagnosis. These medical professionals were medical and surgical oncologists and pathologists. A misdiagnosis is relatively self-explanatory when it comes to a medical problem that was incorrectly assessed. It can happen with any kind of medical issue. With cancer, a mistake made during the diagnostic phase can lead to delayed treatment and a worsened condition. It can even result in a needless death. When the cancer is not detected as early as it could have been, it might spread. The time the medical professionals have to treat a patient with cancer is crucial to stopping the disease’s progression.
Misdiagnosed cancer happens far more often than patients and even doctors realize. According to the survey, cancer doctors felt that the number of times a misdiagnosis occurred was somewhere in the range of 0 to 10 percent, but in reality it happens from between 15 to 28 percent of the time. An estimated one in five cancer patients were misdiagnosed. There can be numerous reasons for a misdiagnosis, from a lack of information to a lack of time to evaluate the patient, to an absence of the proper resources or a negligent physician.
The dangers of misdiagnosed cancer are that a person will either have to go through unnecessary treatment or that the person will spend precious time going untreated. Either way, there is the foundation for a legal case if there was a misdiagnosis. Discussing the matter with an attorney experienced in these kinds of cases is the first step to moving forward.
Source: cancersafety.com, “1 in 5 Cancer Patients Misdiagnosed,” accessed on April 14, 2015