Handling a Cancer Misdiagnosis

Nurse reviewing labs while doctor sits with patient in the background

A cancer diagnosis is an unfortunate reality for families around the world. Notably, 2022 projections showed that 1,918,030 new cancer cases and 609,360 cancer deaths would occur in the United States alone. As a high-risk condition, cancer patients need a quick diagnosis to put them back on their feet and reduce the risk of mortality. But medical professionals can misdiagnose early on — many patients turn to a cancer misdiagnosis lawyer at Casey, Devoti & Brockland to understand their case and the steps they can take moving forward.

The Basics of a Cancer Misdiagnosis 

A misdiagnosis may leave you with excessive medical bills and even a decreased life expectancy. Generally, there are three elements our medical malpractice attorneys will consider in determining whether or not your case was malpractice:

  • The healthcare provider did something wrong, falling below the standard of care.
  • The failure to meet the proper standard of care caused an injury.
  • The presence of an injury resulting from the actions of the healthcare provider.

In cancer misdiagnosis cases, a medical professional failed to take actions that another reasonable professional in their field would have taken given the symptoms, scans and other evidence of a condition. Negligence could entail improper treatment, such as the wrong medication or no care provided at all. To have a viable case, a victim would need substantial damages present — long-term injuries, medical bills and beyond. A substantial delay in diagnosis would be more of a cause for a case.

Common Negligent Actions

Medical malpractice cases are not just against cancer doctors — we often pursue damages from OBs, primary care providers, radiologists and emergency room doctors. Various errors could occur throughout the healthcare pipeline, resulting in a cancer misdiagnosis case against one or more of the professionals along the way.

For example, a patient could go in for a screening and something abnormal appears on the results. The radiologist would recommend that the primary care provider follow up on the issue. Sometimes, the report does not make its way to the treating doctor or they do not read through it carefully. We’ve even seen cases where doctors have mixed up pathology with another patient, leading to improper treatment. As a result of the delay, a patient’s cancer could progress from the early stages to the end stages.

However, the damages our cancer misdiagnosis lawyers seek are highly dependent on the type of cancer. Missing the problem for a few months will likely not cause substantial damage if the patient has slow-moving cancer. On the other hand, a substantial delay in diagnosis for an aggressive cancer will have dire consequences.

Working with a Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer

If a doctor completely ignores the patient’s symptoms and does not document the medical record with the patient’s complaints, it may be difficult for our attorneys to prove causation. There are sometimes no records to show the initial stage of the cancer, making it more difficult for us to show how much the cancer has progressed.

Our attorneys often take on cases involving breast and lung cancer misdiagnosis because there is a likelihood of prior screening records — making these cases more likely to be successful in a court of law. Women receive mammograms annually and many people have had chest x-rays at some point in life, either due to an illness or an accident. Ideally, we need to consider what stage the cancer was when missed versus the stage the cancer was at the time of diagnosis.

Damages in these cases could be extensive, covering everything from medical bills to funeral costs. The failure to diagnose early could be the difference between a tumor removal, the amputation of a limb or a death in the family. If your loved one passes away from their condition, you may be entitled to damages for lost wages, loss of the value of their services around the home, medical bills and more.

Contact Casey, Devoti & Brockland

The cancer misdiagnosis lawyers at Casey, Devoti & Brockland serve victims throughout Missouri and Illinois, helping you build a strong case against negligent medical professionals and institutions. We aid our clients by consulting experts in the same field, gathering medical records and explaining each step to take after a misdiagnosis.

It’s important to note that medical malpractice cases have a statute of limitations. The limit can be a real problem if that time passes before the victim discovers negligence occurred. However, some exceptions may come into play — it is crucial to turn to a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice. Medical malpractice attorneys like Anne Brockland, know the ins and outs of the law surrounding the statute of limitations for your benefit.

Ready to start your case? Contact Casey, Devoti & Brockland for a free consultation with a cancer misdiagnosis lawyer.

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Medical Malpractice
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