Watch the video below to learn more about common examples of dangerous cancer misdiagnosis.
I’m Dr. Bill Hinnant, physician and attorney, nice to be with you. I was asked a question about what would be some common scenarios where cancer misdiagnosis occurred.
Clinically, again, this could be an incorrect cell type coming from a given organ, or perhaps you have a correct cell type but it’s coming from a different location within the body, and all of this is critical because the treatment you receive, which in today’s world could be surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, whatever the case may be, all of these are going to be very specific for location of the cancer as well as the cell type.
Well, how could a misdiagnosis occur? Well, perhaps, you could have misidentification of the tumor location on a radiograph. It may be that what you’re actually diagnosing is a metastatic lesion some cancer that is spread in the body as opposed to a primary lesion.
Now usually, this is something that clinically, there might be some suspicion to a trained doctor as to whether this is likely a primary or likely a metastatic lesion, and the reason that’s known is simply through the statistics and knowing how common a given tumor might be from a given location. Again, what you really want to know is where did the cancer start, what’s the primary as we call it. So it may be that a radiograph identifies a location that’s not a primary but is a metastatic lesion. That then leads to a second potential point of error, which is what’s biopsied. If an area is biopsied and it turns out to be a metastatic lesion as opposed to a primary, the cancer diagnosis again may be correct from the standpoint of the cell type, but you may miss the actual location of where the tumor started.
So again, you can have a bad radiograph. You can have a bad biopsy. Thirdly would be the case of radio diagnostics. This is where a radioactive isotope is given to you and it’s supposed to locate the cancer, and perhaps it does locate the cancer. Maybe what happens is an area lights up with the radiotracer and another area that might actually have lighted up is not even being imaged in that study.
Again, what this could lead to is a misdiagnosis of where the actual cancer primary may be, and to look at these situations, again, you have to have a knowledge of cancer in general how it’s diagnosed, how it’s treated.
Again, at LawMD, our professionals are trained in medicine and in law. Clearly, these are difficult questions that demand experience and the ability to analyze medical records in certain studies in depth. At LawMD, we believe we have that expertise and we’d be delighted to try to help you if we can be of service to you. Again, best wishes on your healthcare journey, and hopefully none of this will ever happen to you, but if it does and you want an honest opinion from people who really care about you, call LawMD or search LawMD, and we’ll be happy to be in touch with you, thanks.
More information regarding Cancer Misdiagnosis
Common Examples Of Dangerous Cancer Misdiagnosis: How Cancer Is Misdiagnosed
Each year, the United States is home to more than 1 and 1/2 million new cases of breast cancer. The American Cancer Association estimates that the country suffers from over half a million deaths each year. The good news is that treatment and detection methods for cancer are improving, and the cancer death rate is declining. The bad news is that misdiagnosis rates for cancer are still alarmingly high, despite better medical technology. According to the BMJ Quality and Safety journal, cancer misdiagnosis rates could be as high at 28%.
Cancer is one of more than 100 diseases caused by abnormal cell divisions in the body. While some of these are more dangerous than others, they all pose the greatest risk of death. However, in almost all cases early detection is key to survival. A doctor who misdiagnoses cancer can lead to delayed treatment. This is costly for the patient and results in higher costs.
Sometimes, even with the best medical care cancer can be misdiagnosed. Sometimes symptoms may look similar to other diseases. Tests are not foolproof. Interpretation of results can be subjective. Misdiagnosis does not always result from medical negligence or malpractice. It is often the case. It is possible to make a mistake when diagnosing:
- If a physician does not respond to a patient’s complaints of symptoms, he or she may order the necessary tests.
- The physician does not follow up on laboratory recommendations after testing or refer to the right specialist in time;
- Failure to correctly interpret test results by a physician, radiology, or other healthcare professional.
- If a doctor, technician, or other healthcare professional does not follow the proper procedures for collecting and conserving samples, it is deemed to be a failure to practice good healthcare.
- Defective medical equipment and procedures can cause inaccurate results that are not accurate in diagnosing healthcare professionals.
If any of these events occur, you may be a victim of medical malpractice. The result could be the inability to correctly diagnose your cancer. This can cost you time and money and even put your life at risk. We can help you.
Common Examples Of Dangerous Cancer Misdiagnosis: The Costs And Responsibilities
A misdiagnosis of cancer does not automatically mean you have a legal claim against a doctor or healthcare professional. Four things must be proved in order to prove that your cancer misdiagnosis was caused by medical negligence or malpractice.
- You and the doctor who diagnosed your cancer had a doctor-patient relationship.
- The physician or another healthcare professional did not meet the standard of care for your case.
- This negligence may have caused your injury.
- This injury caused you to suffer specific damages.
It is not easy to prove these elements in a case of cancer misdiagnosis. The person(s)/institution(s) responsible for causing you harm will have insurance companies and lawyers who work hard to prove that they are without fault, or that your injuries deserve less compensation than is fair. Your experienced attorney in cancer misdiagnosis will need to get to the bottom of your case. This will require the assistance of professionals such as radiologists, doctors, nurses, and pathologists.
A missed cancer diagnosis can have devastating consequences. Your medical malpractice lawyer cannot reverse it. An experienced and competent lawyer can help you get the compensation you need to pay for past and future medical bills, medications, durable medical equipment and modifications to your home, nursing care for yourself, and your children, lost wages, and mental anguish, as well as for future and future losses.