Lung cancer kills more Americans than breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancer combined, according to Mayo Clinic. About 230,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed annually, and about 160,000 lung cancer patients do not survive for more than five years. Diagnosis errors account for the majority of medical malpractice incidents in the United States each year. This includes individuals that were either not diagnosed correctly or a delay in diagnosis.
Malpractice claims can include doctors not ordering critical imaging studies such as CT scans when you have symptoms of lung cancer, ignoring recommendations to order imaging studies to rule out lung cancer, or misreading imaging studies that show you have lung cancer.
If you see your doctor after first noticing symptoms, your cancer might be diagnosed at an earlier stage, when treatment can be more effective. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:
1) A cough that does not go away or gets worse;
2) Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm);
3) Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing;
5) Weight loss and loss of appetite;
6) Shortness of breath;
7) Feeling tired or weak;
8) Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back; or
9) New onset of wheezing.
If lung cancer spreads to distant organs, it may cause:
1) Bone pain (like pain in the back or hips);
2) Nervous system changes (such as headache, weakness or numbness of an arm or leg, dizziness, balance problems, or seizures), from cancer spread to the brain or spinal cord;
3) Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), from cancer spread to the liver; or
4) Lumps near the surface of the body, due to cancer spreading to the skin or to lymph nodes (collections of immune system cells), such as those in the neck or above the collarbone.
The Thistle Law Firm is experienced in these claims and can help you understand your legal options at 215-568-6800, whether it was you or someone you love who suffered a delay in treatment as a result of medical malpractice.