How Commonly Misdiagnosed Cancers Affect Patients and Their Families
Our Broward County medical malpractice lawyers encourage patient vigilance and offer skilled legal support
Cancer is an invasive disease. Without early and accurate diagnosis, incorrect or delayed treatment can allow it to spread. The law firm of Fazio, DiSalvo & Abers, P.A. has more than four decades of experience providing legal assistance for patients and families who suffer needlessly because of cancer misdiagnosis.
Cancer misdiagnosis occurs at an alarming rate
Although cancer misdiagnosis is estimated to occur about 28 percent of the time, a disturbing 60.5 percent of doctors who participated in a 2012 study conducted by the National Coalition on Health Care estimated oncological diagnostic errors at a rate ranging from just zero to 10 percent. Having seen too many unnecessary cases of cancer misdiagnosis, the board-certified trial lawyer at Fazio, DiSalvo & Abers, P.A. recommend that patients obtain second — or even third — opinions to increase the likelihood of accurate diagnosis and early treatment.
Many types of cancers are typically misdiagnosed
Whether physicians fail to recognize symptoms that may point to cancer, or diagnose the wrong type of cancer, misdiagnose can dramatically shorten the lives of patients. The following types of cancer are often misdiagnosed:
- Breast cancer can be misdiagnosed by radiologists during mammogram screening; a diagnosis of the wrong type of cancer can lead to incorrect treatment choices.
- Colorectal cancer is highly treatable if caught early with proper testing, but it can become deadly if an initial misdiagnosis gives it time to spread to other parts of the body.
- Lung cancer may not be diagnosed quickly simply because patients do not notice symptoms until more advanced stages. In many cases, doctors interpret the symptoms as other forms of chronic lung disease, such as asthma, COPD, pneumonia or even mesothelioma.
- Prostate cancer can spread to the lymph nodes and other parts of the body, which can lead to severe conditions if not treated early. However, the initial analyses of biopsy samples can result in unnecessary surgery when they reveal false positives.
- Ovarian and cervical cancers are often most treatable and curable during the early stages when patients experience no symptoms. Even when symptoms begin, they often mimic less serious conditions such as indigestion, urinary tract infection or even pregnancy. When other conditions are falsely diagnosed as ovarian or cervical cancer, patients face unnecessary hysterectomies. However, when these cancers are misdiagnosed as other conditions, patients can die from delayed treatment or no treatment at all.
All too often, patients and their families suffer because medical practitioners fail to take enough action to diagnose a condition, or a pathology report provides an inaccurate analysis. These situations can represent medical malpractice and may require experienced legal support.
Contact a medical malpractice lawyer in Fort Lauderdale with the resources needed to help with complex claims
The attorneys at Fazio, DiSalvo & Abers, P.A. have the experience and resources to help you pursue the compensation you deserve when a doctor misdiagnoses your cancer. We take calls 24/7, offer flexible hours for a free consultation, and we can meet with you in our convenient downtown office, at home or in the hospital. We take cases on a contingency-fee basis, so you pay no attorney fees until we win or settle your case. Contact us online, or call us at (954) 463-0585 today.