Cancer is one of the leading causes of illness-related death in the United States. With many forms of cancer, the earlier someone receives a diagnosis, the better their chances are of going into remission and eventually becoming cancer-free.
Unfortunately, especially in the earliest stages, the symptoms of cancer can sometimes look like other conditions. When medical professionals don’t do their job diligently, they may overlook symptoms or misdiagnose someone with another condition.
Just because your doctor didn’t order the right test and verify the cause of your symptoms, that doesn’t mean that cancer will stop being an issue. Patients might experience worsening or even new symptoms as cancer progresses.
In some cases, cancer could go from a very treatable stage I condition to stage IV cancer before someone receives the proper diagnosis. Even if cancer remains treatable, it may be harder to treat, and there may be fewer options available to the patient.
If a doctor has misdiagnosed a patient’s cancer and begins treating them for something else, the patient could have an adverse reaction to unnecessary treatment for a condition they don’t have. In order to prevent that sort of negative scenario, physicians should do everything in their power to rule out all other causes of a patient’s symptoms before giving them a diagnosis.
Those who become very sick or lose a loved one because of a delayed cancer diagnosis may have grounds to bring a medical malpractice claim against the physician who failed to make the right diagnosis. An experienced attorney can provide more information based on your specific situation.