A cancer misdiagnosis can put a patient’s life at risk.
We don’t have to tell you that cancer is a serious, potentially fatal disease. It’s the second leading cause of death in the U.S., claiming more than 600,000 victims each year. The good news is, many cancers can be successfully treated, provided they are diagnosed early enough for the treatment to be effective.
That’s why it’s so important for a doctor to correctly diagnose a patient’s cancer as early as possible. The sooner treatment begins, the better the chances of a patient making a full recovery. A misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose or delay in diagnosis of cancer could have a devastating effect on a patient’s long-term health, making treatment difficult, if not impossible.
It happens in reverse too; there are instances where healthy patients have undergone risky medical procedures only to discover that their cancer was misdiagnosed and the procedure — such as surgery to remove the supposedly cancerous tissue — was totally unnecessary.
A cancer misdiagnosis can happen when a doctor:
- Fails to conduct the necessary tests or follow up tests
- Misreads or misunderstands a patient’s test results
- Ignores common risk factors, such as family history and other red flags
- Lacks the training or experience to make a correct cancer diagnosis
When Your Cancer Gets Worse Due to a Doctor’s Misdiagnosis
A doctor’s cancer misdiagnosis has the potential to physically, emotionally and financially ruin a patient’s life. If the misdiagnosis occurred because the doctor made a mistake he shouldn’t have, it could be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Taking legal action against a doctor or hospital for a medical error is always a challenge. Not all medical errors rise to the level of medical malpractice, especially for a disease like cancer, which can be hard to detect. In order to prevail in a cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit, you must be able to prove that:
- A doctor/patient relationship existed;
- The doctor’s negligence resulted in his misdiagnosis;
- His misdiagnosis made your condition worse;
- You suffered damages as a result of this misdiagnosis
To get the settlement you deserve for the losses you have suffered as a result of a misdiagnosis for cancer, you need the representation of a personal injury attorney with extensive experience handling medical malpractice litigation.
Lisa Levine is a Fort Lauderdale cancer attorney dedicated to protecting the rights of cancer patients who have had their lives have turned upside down by a cancer misdiagnosis or other medical error. A nationally recognized medical malpractice attorney who has been practicing law in Florida for over 35 years, Lisa has taken on some of the biggest insurance companies in the world and recovered millions of dollars in settlements for her clients.
A wide range of damages are available to patients who have suffered as a result of a cancer misdiagnosis, including medical expenses, pain and suffering and economic losses. Families of patients who lost a loved one due to a cancer misdiagnosis may also be able to recover damages for funeral and hospital expenses through filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Commonly Misdiagnosed Cancers
How common is a cancer misdiagnosis? Researchers at John Hopkins Hospital According to one study, 1 out of every 71 cancer cases are misdiagnosed.
Some cancers are more commonly misdiagnosed than others.
Women face a wide range of cancer risks that are unique to them or that are more common among women. Simple tests and screenings can catch these types of cancers during their earliest stages, when treatment is most effective:
- Breast Cancer: One of the most common forms of cancer among women and one of the most misdiagnosed.
- Cervical Cancer: regarded as being preventable, since it can be detected in its pre-cancerous stages through a routine pap-smear.
- Ovarian Cancer: A correct diagnosis is important, since this cancer can spread to other tissues and organs.
Other commonly misdiagnosed cancers include:
- Stomach Cancer: Very difficult to detect in its early stages
- Colon Cancer: The second highest cause of cancer death in the U.S.
- Lung Cancer: Often requires a biopsy to correctly diagnose
- Prostate Cancer: The most common cancer among men; almost 200,000 cases are diagnosed each year
- Melanoma/Skin Cancer: Everyone has spots and bumps on their skin; doctors must make a careful examination to determine whether these spots are a harmless skin discoloration or something more serious.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Cancer Misdiagnosis
Statute of limitations refers to the laws that govern how long you have to file a lawsuit. This time limit varies by state and also by the type of lawsuit. In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit is 2 years.
Learn more about the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Florida.
Just because cancer is misdiagnosis does not necessarily mean that medical malpractice has occurred. Some circumstances in which cancer misdiagnosis may rise to the level of medical malpractice include:
– Reasonably apparent symptoms of cancer were not recognized.
– Aappropriate testing and screening was not ordered.
– Follow up tests based on positive or abnormal results were not ordered.
– Patient’s family history of cancer was not taken into accout.
Read more about when cancer misdiagnosis qualifies at malpractice.
Medical malpractice cases are legally and scientifically complex. In most cases, judges and jury members do not have the necessary medical expertise to be able to determine fault. Expert witnesses help judges and juries to understand the medical and scientific facts they will have to consider in the case.
Learn more about the role of expert witnesses in malpractice cases.
Get Help With Your Fort Lauderdale Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawsuit
If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of a doctor’s cancer misdiagnosis, you have a right to seek compensation for the damages and losses their negligence has cost you. Florida medical misdiagnosis attorney Lisa Levine is has helped clients in Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale and other Florida communities who were in the same situation you find yourself in – injured and unable to work because of a negligent medical error.
Call 954-256-1820 today to schedule a free consultation with Lisa to discuss your case. Cancer misdiagnosis lawsuits and other medical malpractice cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning there are no up-front costs for clients and Lisa only collects her fee after you’ve collected your settlement. Don’t hesitate – Florida has strict statutes of limitation laws for filing medical malpractice and other types of personal injury litigation – if you wait too long, the courts may refuse to consider your case.