Approximately 1.6 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year, according to the American Cancer Society. Many of those people are only diagnosed when cancer reaches an advanced stage, significantly reducing the chance of survival.
We have seen firsthand the anguish and devastation cancer can bring to a family, and we have also seen the success of proper treatment and being cancer-free.
The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary helps people understand their rights and pursue claims for personal injury damages or wrongful death related to negligence on the part of a physician or hospital.
Supporting People on the Cancer Journey. We Believe in Kindness Campaigns
First of all, we can do more than just get informed about cancer. Millions begin their colon cancer, ovarian cancer, or brain cancer journey and must sustain surgery, chemotherapy, transplants, and long-time medical treatment. And they do not need to go alone through this journey.
The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary believes in campaigns destined to support cancer patients. Together, we can make a difference in supporting those that find themselves on a cancer journey. Small things lift us and turn our whole days around. We hope you'll also consider helping.
When we learned about Environmental Litigation Group P.C.'s kindness campaign, we decided to help. The group provides help in legal action for people who have suffered occupational asbestos exposure and have, consequently, developed malignant mesothelioma - pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma - and other different forms of cancer. This campaign aims to raise awareness of the quality of life of people affected by cancer. Anyone can participate by offering or sponsoring gift baskets that contain fresh produce, vitamins, or useful items.
What Is the Failure to Diagnose Cancer?
Failure in diagnosis can occur due to a variety of reasons, but the most common are:
- A doctor incorrectly evaluates the symptoms as being unrelated to cancer.
- A medical provider fails to appropriately screen for cancer.
Every cancer is different, but in most cases, the sooner the diagnosis and treatment, the better the outcome for the patient. Early diagnosis of cancer before it has metastasized is one of the most critical factors for effective treatment and increasing a patient's survival.
How Can Cancer Misdiagnosis in a Hospital Affect You?
Many cancer fatalities could have been avoided if a proper diagnosis of a condition had been made in time to save the patient's life. Many forms of cancer are dangerous because of the risk of spreading through the body and attacking tissues or organs that are especially vulnerable or difficult to treat. A timely diagnosis can be just as important as an accurate diagnosis to save a patient's life.
The most common cancers where a delay in diagnosis and treatment would change a patient's prognosis include:
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Colon or rectal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Skin cancer
- Uterine and ovarian cancer
The failure to timely diagnose cancer is often a catastrophic event for a person and their family. When appropriate medical care is not provided, it can result in the loss of the life of a spouse, parent, or child. In addition to the preventable pain and suffering one may endure, the loss of life usually equates to the loss of a financial provider, a caregiver for children, or someone who assists at home.
If you suspect cancer, you may discover more through a routine physical examination, through lab results, or you can ask your doctor about your symptoms. It is not a patient's responsibility to know that some symptoms may indicate cancer. That is for doctors. Cancer misdiagnosis can occur in many ways, including:
- Improper performance or interpretation of diagnostic tests
- Failure to take a careful and detailed medical history
- Failure to perform a thorough and complete physical examination
- Failure to adequately follow up or communicate with the patient
- Failure to recognize early warning signs and common symptoms
- Failure to recommend medical tests due to financial concerns
- Failure to recommend or offer cancer screening
- Failure to refer to appropriate specialists
- The human error between doctors and medical facilities
Any type of cancer that received the wrong diagnosis and treatment due to medical mistakes is a ground for a medical malpractice claim. When a medical professional's actions breach the standard of care owed for patient safety, a medical malpractice attorney can help victims recover compensation to cover economic damages.
Misdiagnosed in a Hospital in Miami? We can Help
Patients and families who suffered through a failure to diagnose cancer might be entitled to legal recourse in the form of a medical malpractice claim if the medical professional did not provide appropriate care.
Failure to diagnose and treat cancer in time to make a difference is usually a claim against a radiologist, primary care doctor, or internal medicine physician. Like all professionals, doctors do carry liability insurance to protect themselves.
Like all personal injury cases, there are various statutes of limitations for medical malpractice cases, which is why it's best to consult with our medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
In a medical negligence case, we must establish through evidence these three elements:
- The medical professional or entity rendered substandard care.
- The negligence caused some type of injury.
- The patient suffered damages as a result.
For example, in a prostate cancer case, we need to prove there was a deviation from accepted medical standards by not acting in a timely manner for:
- Ordering a PSA test
- Performing a prostate exam
- Ordering a biopsy
- Following up with a patient
We then need to prove that the failure to provide appropriate medical care caused the injury, which is typically the advanced stage of cancer.
Another example would be breast cancer. Typically, failure to timely diagnose breast cancer involves failure to:
- Order mammograms or sonograms
- Interpret imaging studies appropriately
- Order a biopsy
- Screen for breast cancer
- Provide appropriate follow-up care
At The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, we review and represent cancer misdiagnosis cases, many of which have early screeners such as mammograms for breast cancer, colonoscopies for colorectal cancer, or PSA tests for prostate cancer. If these screenings are not performed properly, or the results are misinterpreted, then a patient may not be adequately diagnosed and not receive the care they need. This delay in diagnosis or misdiagnosis may hinder their recovery time, cause them to endure more aggressive treatment.
Our principal attorney has presented many medical malpractice cases relating to failure to diagnose cancer to malpractice insurance companies and juries and has helped many families achieve substantial financial recoveries.