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Failure to Timely Diagnose Cancer Leads to Verdicts

Some of the most unsettling cases that we as medical malpractice attorneys handle are cases in which health care providers have failed to timely diagnose a patient with a treatable form of cancer until it is too late. Whether it is due to a radiologist misreading a CT scan or and MRI and failing to see a cancerous tumor or a doctor failing to follow up upon recommendations for further testing to rule out the presence of cancer, each instance of negligence is heartbreaking because the negligence has foreclosed the likelihood that the patient will ultimately survive the cancer.

It is common knowledge that in most instances, the earlier the cancer is diagnosed, the greater the chance of survival is. A recent Chicago case is illustrative of this point. In that matter, a 46 year old women presented to her primary care doctor complaining of a painful lump in her left breast. A CT scan was ordered and performed and revealed the presence of a 1.9 cm mass in the patient's left lung. The radiologist who interpreted the report also indicated that the lump could be malignant. The surgeon subsequently recommended to the patient that she undergo a breast biopsy to rule out breast cancer, and if that study was negative, then a lung biopsy to rule out lung cancer. The breast biopsy turned out to be negative, but the physician never performed the lung biopsy, and instead, dismissed the woman from his care. Over the course of the next year, the woman expressed frequent complaints of a cough and chest pain to her PCP. No follow up studies were done for an entire year. Finally, her PCP ordered a lung biopsy. By that point, the woman had developed Stage IV (end stage) lung cancer. Despite undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, she was given a 5% chance of surviving just 5 years.

At STSW, our lawyers routinely handle medical malpractice / medical negligence cases involving failure to timely diagnose and/or failure to timely treat cancers. If you or a loved one believe you have been victimized by a physician who has failed to timely diagnose or treat you, call our lawyers for a free consultation at (410) 385-2225.

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