If you are reading this page, it is likely that you or someone you love is fighting a battle with cancer. Possibly, your loved one lost their life to the illness and you are looking for answers.
Let us help.
At The Weitz Firm, we know this is a difficult time for you. Early detection and treatment of cancer are so important in fighting the disease. Unfortunately, sometimes doctors fail to notice cancer before it is too late, not because the disease was too aggressive, but because they did not perform their jobs at a high standard of care.
When you need a Norristown failure to diagnose and treat cancer attorney, we are here for you.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 600,000 annually. That is why it is so important that it is detected early.
You might be asking yourself what exactly is cancer? What are the causes? What are the signs or symptoms of this deadly disease? In the most basic of terms, cancer is a group of diseases that involves abnormal cell growth. It has a great potential to spread and invade other parts of the body. Cancer is in complete contrast to benign tumors that don’t spread, while cancer can spread rapidly. Unfortunately, there are over 100 types of cancers that affect humans.
The causes of cancer can be difficult to pinpoint but medical professionals have narrowed it down to a variety of factors, from tobacco use, obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity, excessive alcohol, and certain infections. The majority of cancers roughly 90-95% of cases are due in large to genetic mutations from either the environment, lifestyle traits, or a combination of the two. The remaining percentage is a result of inherited genetics. You need to be aware that environmental refers mainly to causes that are not inherited. Lifestyle, economic and behavioral factors are not pollution. Tobacco, infections, radiation, and lack of physical activity are defined as some of the leading contributing factors of cancer death.
Some common sites of cancer are the brain, respiratory, lymph nodes, liver, and skeletal. Symptoms in the brain usually involve headaches, seizures, and vertigo. Respiratory diseases include coughs, hemoptysis, and dyspnea. Lymphadenopathy is found within the lymph nodes while the liver emits signs of hepatomegaly and jaundice. Lastly, the skeletal portion will involve pain, fractures, and spinal cord compressions. It is vital to keep a watchful eye on these signs, however, when cancer begins it produces no symptoms. Signs only begin to appear when the mass grows or ulcerates. Cancer can actually be difficult to diagnose, so you want to take your screenings very seriously and get checked regularly.
The World Health Organization says that “Early detection of cancer greatly increases the chances for successful treatment.”
But what happens when a doctor fails to diagnose cancer?
Consider this: medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US. Johns Hopkins researchers found that diagnosing errors accounted for the largest fraction of medical malpractice claims and the most severe patient harm.
When a patient goes to a doctor with a set of symptoms, it is that doctor’s job to get to the bottom of what is causing the problem. If they fail to perform necessary cancer screening tests, even if a patient’s symptoms call for them, they are putting their patient’s life in jeopardy.
Failing to detect cancer early can lead to a patient having to undergo more aggressive forms of treatment once the cancer is discovered.
In the worst-case scenario, a patient may lose their life because a doctor failed to diagnose their cancer.
The average cost of treating cancer can rise above $150,000 per year. It can cost even more if aggressive forms of treatment are necessary.
The costs of failing to diagnose cancer and treat it early are more than just monetary. They go beyond the hospital bills. These are emotional costs that are put on the patient and their families.
Medical malpractice is a law that governs what a patient can do when a doctor makes a mistake. Two elements of medical malpractice claims are the reasonableness of the mistake and the degree of harm. A reasonable error constitutes an average doctor making the same exact mistake when faced with a similar situation then there may not be malpractice. If a doctor fails to detect cancer at the very early stages the mistake might be reasonable but not exactly obvious. Doctors have a legal duty to fulfill in using all of the standard preventative measures to predict the existence of cancer.
Examples of failing to detect cancer might be a patient complaining of a lump in her breast, medically speaking, she should be subjected to a mammogram, ultrasound, or any other form of imaging test. In the event of skin cancer, medical labs are responsible for informing the doctor that a biopsy of a mole was precancerous. The doctor is then required to follow up with the patient on care for the skin cancer. Whenever there is a lack of follow-up, infections, blood vessel bursts and recurrent cancers are imminent.
When you went to the doctor, you expected them to do what they were trained to do. A failure to diagnose cancer can completely rearrange your life. We know this is not the battle you wanted, neither cancer nor a lawsuit.
You have options. If you are the patient, The Weitz Firm wants to help you recover compensation for your pain and suffering as well as assistance for your medical expenses. If you have lost a family member to cancer, we will work on recovering compensation through a wrongful death claim.