Failure to Diagnose Cancer

Medical malpractice in any form can cause serious preventable injuries and even death of the patient.

cancer-diagnosisOne of the more common forms of medical malpractice is failure to diagnose a condition. When a doctor or another health care provider fails to diagnose a condition in time, it leads to a delay in treatment, which may aggravate the condition and increase a person’s suffering.

A Common Type of Medical Malpractice

Numerous studies have indicated that failure to diagnose is one of the most common types of medical malpractice. It is believed that as many as 26 percent of the medical malpractice cases are related to failure to diagnose. Every year, many cases of failure to diagnose cancer are reported not only in Missouri, but in the United States. Failure to diagnose cancer has become an issue of alarming concern.

Diagnosing and Treating Cancer

Diagnosing cancer in time can mean the difference between life and death for the patient. Many types of cancers can be treated effectively, but only in the initial stages. As the disease progresses, treatment may become difficult and expensive. Too much delay can even make the cancer untreatable and cause death of the patient. So, failure to diagnose cancer does not only cost money for additional treatment, but can cost a patient their life. Missouri medical malpractice attorneys believe that it is important that medical authorities address this serious situation in order to save the numerous lives that are lost because of it.

Successful Treatment of Cancer

Successful treatment of cancer requires early detection of tumors or lumps in any part of the body. There are many diagnostic tests available for the detection of cancer at early stages including a PSA test or biopsy test. Failure to order these diagnostic tests in time may make it increasingly difficult for the patient to overcome the disease.

However, there some other medical errors that can lead to failed diagnosis of cancer. Even if the doctor ordered a diagnostic test such as biopsy or mammogram, but the pathologist or radiologist fails to read the test report properly, or misinterprets the photos or reports, it will amount to medical malpractice. Based on the incorrect report, the doctor may fail to diagnose the cancer. In some cases, the laboratory employee makes an incorrect report, or makes an error while handling the file leading to failed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of cancer.

Types of Cancer That May Go Undiagnosed

There are many types of cancers that can go undiagnosed because of the error or negligence of a health care provider. The list includes lung cancer, skin cancer, kidney cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, uterine cancer, leukemia, rectal cancer, thyroid cancer, ovarian cancer, and many other types of cancer.

Failure to diagnose cancer can necessitate prolonged and expensive treatment including extended chemotherapy sessions. In some cases, where the cancer is contagious, it may spread to other parts of the body as well. Delay in diagnosis of cancer usually diminishes the chances of survival. If someone close to you has become a victim of a doctor’s negligence, contact the Zevan and Davidson Law Firm at (314) 588-7200.

Photo credit: Erik Soderstrom via FlickrErik Söderström

Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.


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