Tragically, a misdiagnosis happens quite often. A misdiagnosis is due to the failure of the doctor or the hospital to detect the signs and symptoms of a tumor. The critical factor in a medical malpractice case is determining the standard of care for the signs and symptoms with which the patient presents.

When doctors fail to follow the established standards of care and a patient suffers as a result, the patient may have a valid medical malpractice case. If you believe you or a family member is a victim of medical malpractice, do not hesitate to contact a Hudson Valley cancer misdiagnosis lawyer. An experienced cancer malpractice lawyer could review the standards of care to determine if you have a case and if so, they could help fight for your right to compensation.

Common Examples of Cancer Misdiagnosis

Malpractice occurs when someone suffers because a physican fails to follow the proper standards of care. If somebody is coughing blood, for example, the standard of care is very clear that this symptom is presumed to be due to lung cancer until proven otherwise. The standard of care would require a chest x-ray, and if the x-ray is positive, it would include a CAT scan of the chest, a bronchoscopy, and a biopsy of the mass.

With pancreatic cancer, there are two different types. The less common type is called pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer. When the patient has that type of pancreatic cancer, doctors should look at their blood work to see whether there are any abnormalities in the function of the pancreas. That can be a sign that the patient has pancreatic cancer and needs to have the tumor removed surgically.

One of the more common types of medical diagnostic errors is that the patient had signs and symptoms on an imaging study, but the doctor failed to interpret or realize the significance of the abnormal finding. For example, a woman was diagnosed with breast cancer and then underwent a bilateral mastectomy. After the operation, a PET scan showed that there was an area of hypermetabolic activity in the surgical site, but the doctor told the patient not to worry about it. Nine months later, that area of hypermetabolic activity was cancer that had spread throughout her body, and she died as a result.

Eligibility for Legal Action

If there is a misdiagnosis, the number one issue is to determine whether there was a deviation from good and accepted standards of care or a failure to perform the testing and examination that is required. For example, with somebody who has blood in their stool, the standard of care would be to perform a colonoscopy and do a rectal exam. If that was not done, that is a deviation from good and accepted medical standards of care.

The second question is whether the deviation from good and accepted standards of care diminished the person’s likelihood of survival. During the period of the delay in diagnosis, did the cancer spread or get bigger? In a case involving a delay in diagnosis, a Hudson Valley cancer misdiagnosis lawyer needs to prove not just the delay in diagnosis but that, due to the delay in diagnosis, the patient’s likelihood of survival was diminished.

This could mean that the cancer went from stage one or stage two to stage three or stage four. In this case, an attorney will look at the five-year rate of survival for each stage of cancer and compare them. If the five-year rate of survival for stage one cancer is 90 percent but the five-year survival rate for stage four cancer is two percent, a lawyer could show that the likelihood of survival for the patient in five years went from 90 percent down to two percent.

Other Potentially Liable Parties

Sometimes, there can be mistakes made by the hospital staff in failing to notify doctors about abnormal results of imaging studies. Cancer may be detected by testing, but these results were not conveyed to the doctor. In one case, a patient went for a routine operation and as part of that, she underwent a chest x-ray that was a preoperative clearance study. The results of that chest x-ray showed that there was a mass in the lung, however, that was not conveyed to the doctor.

Call a Hudson Valley Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney

Cancer misdiagnosis is a tragic event, but a medical malpractice lawsuit could help victims and their families offset the loss. A Hudson Valley cancer misdiagnosis lawyer could look at your situation and advise you about the best legal options for recovery. They could stand by your side and protect your rights through every step of the process. Call today to get started.

Hudson Valley Cancer Medical Malpractice Lawyer