Doctors have a responsibility to properly investigate and treat a patient’s symptoms. When they fail to do so, their actions may constitute negligence, and victims may have a valid medical malpractice claim.

If you or a loved one suffered because a doctor failed to diagnose cancer properly, do not hesitate to contact a qualified medical malpractice attorney. An experienced Hudson Valley cancer medical malpractice lawyer could fight for your right to compensation. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Cancer

Each type of cancer will have different signs and symptoms. For example, with lung cancer, the most common symptom would be coughing of blood, which is hemoptysis. If somebody is coughing blood, that is a major warning sign of lung cancer. For colorectal cancer, blood in the stool is considered to be a sign of possible colon cancer, especially for people who are age 50 or older. With breast cancer, the most common symptom is a lump or a mass on the breast. An ultrasound or a mammogram would be done to determine the composition of the mass as well as a biopsy of the tissue. For other types of cancer, signs and symptoms will vary.

Imaging Studies to Detect Cancer

When diagnosing cancer, doctors usually begin with an imaging study. For example, lung cancer treatment begins with a chest x-ray, which will typically show that the patient has some abnormal mass in their chest. After that, there would be a CAT scan that would give greater clarity of the type of mass on the chest. For every different type of cancer, there is a different protocol that would be done, such as an x-ray, a CAT scan, an MRI, or a biopsy.

Biopsies

If imaging studies are positive, doctors will often move on to other tests such as biopsies to give a definitive diagnosis. For example, if doctors suspect lung cancer, they could perform a bronchoscopy or a biopsy that will give a definitive diagnosis.

For colorectal cancer, a rectal exam is usually the first procedure performed. They may also need to perform a colonoscopy, in which the doctor will use a scope to look through the entire large intestine, the ascending transfers and the descending. In many cases, the mass may be a benign polyp that can be removed during colonoscopy. The benefit of removal is that a benign polyp can transform over time into cancer, and having it removed can prevent that.

Referral to a Specialist

Typically the first step in dealing with cancer is a referral to a specialist. If somebody has a mass in their breast, the primary care physician will refer the patient to a breast surgeon, that breast surgeon will order an ultrasound or biopsy, and they will take a closer look to make a definitive diagnosis as to whether the patient has breast cancer. Once cancer has been removed, there is a full body imaging study called a PET scan that looks for areas in the body that have hypermetabolic activity. When there is the presence of a tumor in the body, that tumor will consume and crave sugar, which can be seen using a PET scan.

Treatment Options

The most common type of cancer treatment is surgically removing the tumor from the patient’s body to make sure it does not spread. As part of the surgery, generally, the surgeon will remove the lymph nodes as well. Lymph nodes are these vessels in the body to which lymphatic fluids are sent. The lymphatic system is where cancer will spread from one part of the body to the next, so the doctor will remove some of the lymph nodes and then put them under a microscope to see whether there is a presence of cancer cells in the lymph nodes.

Damages Available in Cancer  Medical Malpractice Cases

When there is a delay in diagnosing cancer, patients may be eligible to recover compensation for damages. In New York State, the patient can recover for their conscious pain and suffering, which refers to the change in the quality of their life and all of the things that they experienced that were caused by the delay in diagnosis.

If the person dies from cancer, family members can recover under New York’s wrongful death law, and that recovery could include many things like medical expenses and a claim for loss of earnings on behalf of the surviving spouse. In addition to that, if the person who dies has any surviving children, they can recover for loss of paternal or maternal advice, guidance, and nurturing. An experienced Hudson Valley cancer malpractice lawyer could help with recovering damages.

Let a Hudson Valley Cancer Medical Malpractice Attorney Help

When doctors act negligently and fail to detect cancer, the results can be devastating for victims and their families. Thankfully, compensation is available to help offset the suffering. If you or a loved one suffered due to delayed diagnosis of cancer, contact a Hudson Valley cancer medical malpractice lawyer. They could fight tirelessly to protect your rights and recover the compensation your family needs.

Hudson Valley Cancer Medical Malpractice Lawyer