Your Cancer Diagnosis Was Too Late: How a Delayed Diagnosis Lawyer Can Help You

The difference between a prompt and accurate cancer diagnosis and one that’s delayed can mean life or death, a short period of treatment or one that may drag on for months or years. Contact a delayed diagnosis lawyer if your healthcare provider acted negligently and significantly delayed your cancer diagnosis. You may have a valid medical malpractice claim. If that’s your situation, reach out to Wapner Newman today so we can talk about what happened and your legal rights.

Early cancer detection is the next best thing to prevention. Depending on the type of cancer, if it’s detected early, it may be far easier to treat, significantly improving your chances of survival. A delayed diagnosis of cancer may result in your disease continuing to grow where it started or spread to other parts of your body, making effective treatment more difficult or impossible.

Cancer and Treatment

Generally, tumors occur because cells in your body mutate. Instead of functioning normally, going through a process where their life cycle ends, they continuously divide and create more mutated, malignant cells. Once there are enough of these cells, a tumor forms. The immune system normally destroys unhealthy cells but for those with cancer, it can’t keep up with the rapidly dividing, cancerous cells.

Successful cancer treatment involves killing all cancer cells, or at least preventing them from dividing, or destroying so many that those remaining are so few or so weakened that the patient’s immune system can kill them. Cancer treatment can be a numbers game. Cancer cells may get so much of a head start that there are too many of them for treatment to be effective if treatment is delayed.

If you believe your cancer was identified so late that it caused you added suffering and harm from the disease, our delayed cancer diagnosis lawyer can help. Contact our team at Wapner Newman for help today by using our online form or give us a call at (215) 569-0900.

A Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer Is Common

A diagnosis can be late because no diagnosis is given or the wrong diagnosis (a misdiagnosis) is made.

Cancer is misdiagnosed about 28 percent of the time, according to an article in the BMJ Quality and Safety journal, reports Boston magazine. A study of autopsies performed at a New Orleans hospital over a ten-year time frame found that 111 cancers in 100 patients had been either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, causing the deaths of 57 of the patients. There was a difference in what was diagnosed during the patients’ lives and what was found in the autopsies 44% of the time.

Lung, breast and colorectal cancers are the ones most likely to be misdiagnosed, reports Fox News.They account for about 10 percent of physician-reported errors in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The most common reason for the delay given by doctors was their failure to have a tissue biopsy performed after an abnormal test result.

A delayed diagnosis of cancer can be caused by primary care physicians. They fail to recognize cancer symptoms, insufficiently investigate the patient’s situation, or delay referral to a specialist. Primary care is the first point of contact for patients, and delays in cancer diagnosis are an ongoing problem, according to one medical journal article.

A Delayed Cancer Diagnosis Lawyer Can Help You with Your Medical Malpractice Case

Medical malpractice is a type of negligence. Your healthcare provider needs to live up to the standard of care, the generally accepted medical practices used by a group of medical professionals in the same geographic area for patients suffering from a particular disorder or illness.

Any number of actions, or lack of action, could be a breach of the standard of care. Examples of cancer misdiagnosis include:

  • Most patients seen by a physician may have simple, treatable conditions and the doctor may presume that’s the case of someone with signs of cancer.
  • A physician may not spend enough time with a patient to get a full history and account of what’s going on.
  • A physician may fail to order tests or a biopsy after an abnormal test result.
  • A physician may not link your symptoms with cancer and fail to determine if that’s what you might have.
  • Test results may be misinterpreted, not communicated or miscommunicated.
  • A pathologist may miss the fact that a tissue sample is malignant.
  • A radiologist may misinterpret an X-ray, mammogram or CT scan.
  • A surgeon may presume that a growth or tumor is benign and mistakenly cut into it, potentially spreading cancer cells in the body.
  • You may be diagnosed and treated for cancer and falsely told you’re in remission (no signs of cancer), ending treatment and allowing the disease to progress.

Generally, if the healthcare provider’s actions don’t meet the standard and a patient is harmed as a result, there may be a valid basis for a medical malpractice claim. If you are unsure whether a misdiagnosis harmed you as the disease progressed and did more damage than it would have otherwise, contact us. Our delayed cancer diagnosis lawyer at Wapner Newman has the experience necessary to evaluate your case.

What We Can Do After a Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer

After a thorough investigation, we may find grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. If the healthcare provider’s insurance carrier doesn’t agree to a fair and reasonable settlement, a lawsuit can be filed, and the litigation process begins. Over time, we find more evidence, negotiations continue, and the vast majority of cases are resolved before a trial is completed.

Medical malpractice cases are complicated because of Pennsylvania’s laws and our convoluted healthcare system. Since symptoms change over time and evidence and witnesses become harder to find, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

The experienced Philadelphia delayed cancer diagnosis lawyers at Wapner Newman understand how devastating this type of news can be. Our medical malpractice attorneys in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are entirely devoted to helping victims of undiagnosed cancer recover the damages they will need to pay for medical treatment and to restore their quality of life.

If you live in Pennsylvania or New Jersey and have suffered the consequences of a delayed cancer diagnosis, please contact Wapner Newman today at (215) 569-0900 to schedule a free initial consultation. We represent medical malpractice victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with offices in Philadelphia, West Conshohocken, Allentown, and Marlton.