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, greatly 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. Sean Cleary, our Miami medical malpractice attorney helps people understand their rights and pursue their claims for personal injury damages or wrongful death related to negligence on the part of a physician or hospital.
What Is the Failure to Diagnose Cancer or Misdiagnosis in Miami?
Diagnosis can be delayed for 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 important factors in effective treatment and increasing a patient's survival.
How Can Cancer Misdiagnosis in a Miami 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 failure to timely diagnose cancer is often a catastrophic event for a person and his or her family. When appropriate medical care is not provided, it can result in the loss of 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 provides assistance at home.
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 and uterine cancer.
Misdiagnosed in a Hospital in Miami? We can Help
Patients and families who suffered through a failure to diagnose cancer may 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. And like all personal injury cases, there are a variety of statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases, which is why it is best to consult with our Miami medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible if you think you have a case.
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, and 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 timely ordering a PSA test, performing a prostate exam, ordering a biopsy or following up with a patient. We then need to prove that the failure to provide appropriate medical care caused injury, which is typically the advanced stage of cancer.
- Another example would be breast cancer. Typically, a failure to timely diagnose breast cancer involves the failure to order mammograms or sonograms, the failure to interpret imaging studies appropriately, the failure to order a biopsy, the failure to screen for breast cancer and the failure to 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 properly diagnosed and not receive the care that he or she needs. This delay in diagnosis or misdiagnosis may hinder his or her recovery time, cause him or her to endure more aggressive treatment.