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Cancer Misdiagnosis and Delays Among Most Common Medical Mistakes

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cancer misdiagnosis, Illinois medical malpractice lawyersOne in 20 adults in the United States (approximately 12 million people) are misdiagnosed by their doctors each and every year. At least half of those people could suffer from serious repercussions. For instance, a Journal of American Medical Association published study found that around 20 percent of all medical errors each year involve delayed cancer diagnosis.

Cancers Commonly Misdiagnosed

According to the previously mentioned study, the most common delayed cancer diagnoses are lung, breast, and colorectal cancers; in fact, they make up about 10 percent of all medical errors. The remaining 10 percent are delayed diagnoses of all other cancers. Examples include ovarian cancers, which a NHS survey found an average diagnostic delay of about 90.3 days; non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (delayed by an average of 102.8 days); and prostate cancer (average delay of 148.5 days).

A Matter of Life and Death

Any medical error can result in serious injury or fatality, but when it comes to cancer, a delayed diagnosis is almost always a matter of life or death. At the very least, it could extend the time of treatment needed to effectively address the cancer. But the condition may also worsen or spread to other parts of the body, potentially making the condition incurable and eventually fatal.

Understanding the Factors

Physician error occurs when a doctor fails to recognize or follow-up on “red flags” of routine treatment, or completely dismisses a patient’s symptoms as those of a less severe condition. Delays in laboratory testing, failure to send a patient to a specialist, lost paperwork or lab work, or failure to probe when tests indicate there may be a problem are also examples of doctor error. Too often diagnostic tests are simply misread as normal.

Cancer Malpractice Claims

BMJ Open study revealed that 26 to 63 percent of all malpractice claims involved either a delayed/missed cancer diagnosis or a failure to diagnose myocardial infarction. Though no specifics regarding what percentage of those cases were related to cancer, and which were heart disease-related, this information sheds light on just how prevalent delayed cancer diagnoses are in courtrooms. As such, it is critical that all victims seek assistance from a skilled malpractice attorney.

The attorneys of Tomasik Kotin Kasserman provide experienced representation for all victims of medical errors, including those that have suffered because of a delayed or missed cancer diagnosis. With a track record of success, they can provide the tools and resources needed to build a strong case against any and all responsible parties. Schedule a free initial consultation with a Chicago medical negligence attorney. Call 312-605-8800 today.

Sources:

http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/3/7/e002929.full?sid=a85f854f-31d8-4e8e-aee5-ae642ecbcd98

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/11/18/3-cancers-doctors-miss-most-plus-4-other-commonly-misdiagnosed-conditions.html

http://www.livescience.com/44888-misdiagnosis-doctors-visits.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15870714

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