Pennsylvania Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawsuit
Philadelphia – Harrisburg – Scranton – Erie – Pittsburgh – New Jersey – New York
In the case of rapidly growing malignancy, it is critical that your cancer be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible. If a doctor fails to perform the proper tests, a radiologist fails to properly read the results of a test, or your cancer is otherwise misdiagnosed, you could find yourself in a situation where a cancer that might have been treatable is now deadly, or will cause substantially greater damage than it otherwise would. Unfortunately, delayed cancer diagnosis is entirely too common and the results can be devastating.
Basis for a Delayed Cancer Diagnosis Suit
If you or a loved one suffered a cancer misdiagnosis, that does not mean your doctor committed medical malpractice. In Pennsylvania, in order to prove that a delayed cancer diagnosis is malpractice, we must show:
- The doctor violated the medical standard of care
- This violation directly caused serious damages
What is the medical standard of care? It is what a reasonable doctor would have done under the circumstances. In other words, if another reasonable doctor, given your symptoms and circumstances, would have performed certain tests, and the doctor who didn’t diagnose you failed to do those tests, that might be a violation of the medical standard of care.
What do we mean by serious damages? Let’s say you go to a doctor who missed diagnosing your cancer, but you see an oncologist a few days later, and he properly diagnoses your malignancy, you are very unlikely to have suffered additional damage due to the delay. But, if a year passes and your cancer has become substantially worse due to the delay, then we might be able to prove a case on your behalf. In the case of rapidly growing cancer, the delay can be quite short and still cause you serious harm.
Cancer Misdiagnosis Information
- Delayed diagnosis: 12 million Americans suffer from cancer misdiagnoses each year. This means one out of every 20 adult patients are misdiagnosed each year. Breast cancer is frequently misdiagnosed. A delay in diagnosis can give the illness time to progress and decrease a patient’s chance of recovery.
- These delays in diagnosis often occur due to a failure to order the correct tests, or a failure to read the tests properly. In some cases, the patients themselves fail to provide a proper medical history. It is critical to provide a proper history so doctors know to check for cancer.
- Surgical error: Cancer often requires surgical intervention to remove tumors. Mistakes such as leaving cancerous tissue behind or operating in the wrong area are inexcusable.
- Errors in treatment: The most common treatments for cancer are chemotherapy and radiation, both of which are hard on the patient’s health. Errors such as using the wrong dosage can seriously impact patients’ well-being. In some cases, people are diagnosed with cancer when they do not actually have it. This can be the basis for a medical malpractice claim as well, if the patient suffers harm due to the treatment.
Rapidly Growing Cancers
Even a short delay in some cancers can have serious consequences. A number of types of cancer can grow very quickly. These include:
- Pancreatic cancer
- Liver cancer
- Brain cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Skin cancer
- Lung cancer (certain types)
Contact Us for Help
If your cancer should have been diagnosed and your treatment should have been short or would have been more likely to be successful had you been properly diagnosed, that could be the basis for a medical malpractice claim. If your life was shortened due to the cancer misdiagnosis, that also could be the basis for a claim. And if you lost a loved one because the doctor did not diagnose cancer properly, you may have the basis for a wrongful death suit. To find out if you might have a claim, please contact us today at 888-979-7298.