Leading Philadelphia Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyers
If you or a loved one suffered from a misdiagnosis of cancer contact the lawyers at Thistle Law today.
Request a consultation with us today and we’ll help determine if you have a case.
WHAT IS A CANCER MISDIAGNOSIS?
A cancer misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to diagnose cancer or misdiagnoses the type or stage of cancer. A cancer patient’s best chance for survival relies on properly diagnosing cancer in its earliest stages. Unfortunately, despite medical advancements in diagnosing cancer, doctors and other medical professionals still fail to diagnose or misdiagnose cancer. For some, a cancer misdiagnosis can mean the difference between life and death.
Too often, misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose leads to a late diagnosis, limiting the patient’s treatment options and potentially fatal consequences. With each passing moment in which a cancer patient goes undiagnosed, that patient’s chance of survival diminishes, and they can face a much more rigorous and devastating treatment process than if the doctor had caught it sooner.
A cancer misdiagnosis can happen for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Failure to order the appropriate tests
- Failure to interpret test results
- Failure to refer the patient to a specialist in a timely manner
- Failure to communicate with the patient effectively
Doctors and other healthcare professionals are obligated to provide patients with proper standards of care. They must be thorough and careful when analyzing the patient’s symptoms, health history, and test results. Sometimes, a misdiagnosis or a late diagnosis due to a failure to properly diagnose cancer can be grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
When a doctor or other healthcare professional is negligent in their cancer diagnosis process, the experienced, results-driven team of Philadelphia cancer misdiagnosis attorneys at Thistle Law can help you pursue a medical negligence lawsuit and compensation. If you or a loved one suffered a misdiagnosis, you might be eligible for compensation for treatments, related losses, and even pain and suffering.
HOW TO HANDLE A CANCER MISDIAGNOSIS LAWSUITE
Medical Negligence and Cancer Misdiagnosis in Pennsylvania
It is important to recognize that not every cancer misdiagnosis is a negligent offense worthy of a medical malpractice claim. Certain types of cancer are notorious for being hard to diagnose, while others mimic symptoms of other illnesses.
Conversely, other, more common types of cancer are incredibly easy to diagnose, especially by those with the proper training. In these cases, a claim of medical malpractice or negligence may be more easily proven.
Either way, if you or a loved one are a victim of cancer misdiagnosis or a delayed cancer diagnosis, you and your cancer misdiagnoses lawyer must prove that all of the following had occurred:
- You were the patient and, as such, the doctor or other medical professional owed you a duty of care.
- The doctor or other healthcare worker failed to act as a reasonable medical professional concerning your diagnosis.
- A delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of cancer caused you to suffer.
- The doctor or other healthcare professional’s failure to act was the most probable cause of your injury or suffering from the delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of cancer.
Common Factors Leading to Pennsylvania Cancer Misdiagnosis Cases
Some of the most common factors that might lead to a delayed diagnosis or a cancer misdiagnosis in Philadelphia and throughout PA include:
- A failure to refer the patient to a necessary cancer specialist.
- A failure to order proper tests and screening procedures related to the specific type of cancer.
- A failure to investigate and consider the patient’s personal or family medical history.
- A failure to correctly or properly interpret medical testing results.
- A failure in the application of diagnostic testing.
- A failure to schedule an important follow-up appointment.
- A misdiagnosis of cancer by diagnosing the symptoms as another condition or disease.
Common Types of Misdiagnosed Cancer in Pennsylvania
Since cancer can affect every organ in the body and since there are so many different types of cancer, Pennsylvania delayed diagnosis and cancer misdiagnosis cases are often quite complex. Every type of cancer has its own diagnosis process, individual prognosis, and varied treatment options.
Another factor complicating the situation is that many cancers replicate symptoms of other common medical conditions.
Here are four of the most common misdiagnosed cancers:
- Breast cancer: Statistics show that one in eight women receive a breast cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives. Often, healthcare professionals will initially misdiagnose breast cancer as a non-cancerous cyst or tumor, fibrocystic breast disease, or breast inflammation. Certain types of medication can also mimic breast cancer symptoms like nipple leakage.
- Colorectal cancer: Many inflammatory bowel diseases mimic colorectal cancer symptoms, such as IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, and hemorrhoids. It is not uncommon for colorectal cancer to be misdiagnosed as these conditions.
- Lung cancer: Lung cancer typically manifests with symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. As a result, healthcare professionals will often misdiagnose lung cancer as a respiratory condition like pneumonia. Unfortunately, a lung cancer misdiagnosis can result in cancer spreading to other areas of the body by the time it is caught.
- Pancreatic cancer: Similar to colorectal cancer, healthcare professionals often misdiagnose pancreatic cancer as IBS and other conditions like pancreatitis or gallstones. It is not uncommon for a doctor to misdiagnose pancreatic cancer as diabetes. It is important to note that diabetes is a pancreatic cancer symptom.
A Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help With Your Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. A cancer diagnosis can cause stress, despair, and great financial strain. What’s worse is a delayed cancer diagnosis or a cancer misdiagnosis that leaves you with little chance of fighting the disease when it matters most, in its early stages.
While a cancer diagnosis can be emotional for a victim and their family, a misdiagnosis can be utterly devastating. If you believe that medical neglect, a diagnostic error, or some other form of medical malpractice resulted in a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose any type of cancer for you or a loved one, it is important to have an experienced medical malpractice attorney review your case and determine if a claim is warranted.
The Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Thistle Law have the experience and knowledge necessary to determine whether or not your cancer misdiagnosis or delayed cancer diagnosis was the result of negligence on the part of your doctor or healthcare professional. The team at Thistle Law will fight to obtain the compensation you and your family deserve.
Pennsylvania Cancer Misdiagnosis Frequently Asked Questions
As expert cancer misdiagnosis lawyers, our team is often asked to answer the following questions about cancer misdiagnosis lawsuits in Philadelphia:
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice in Pennsylvania is when a doctor or other healthcare professional fails to provide the standard of care that a reasonably competent practitioner would provide in similar circumstances, therefore harming the patient.
What are the consequences of a cancer misdiagnosis?
A cancer misdiagnosis can have serious consequences for the patient, including:
- Delayed treatment which can lead to a more advanced stage of cancer and a worse prognosis
- Unnecessary or harmful treatment
- Financial hardship
- Emotional distress
What should I do if I think I have been a victim of a cancer misdiagnosis?
If you think you have been a victim of a cancer misdiagnosis, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. A medical malpractice attorney can help you review your medical records, investigate the circumstances of your misdiagnosis, and determine if you have a legal case.
Can I sue a healthcare facility or institution for cancer misdiagnosis, or is it limited to individual healthcare professionals?
Cancer misdiagnosis lawsuits can involve individual healthcare professionals and the healthcare facilities or institutions where the misdiagnosis occurred. In some cases, hospitals and clinics can be held responsible for the actions of their staff. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you determine the parties liable in your specific case.
What damages can I recover in a cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit?
If you are successful in a cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit, you may be able to recover damages for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Wrongful death (if your loved one died as a result of the misdiagnosis)
What role does expert testimony play in a cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit?
Expert testimony is often a critical component of a cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit. In such cases, medical experts are typically called upon to provide their professional opinions on the standard of care, the nature of the misdiagnosis, and the harm caused to the patient. Their testimony can help establish whether medical malpractice occurred and the extent of the damages, strengthening your case.
How long do I have to file a cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits in Pennsylvania is two years from the date of the injury. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the misdiagnosis was not discovered until later, the statute of limitations may be extended. An experienced cancer misdiagnosis lawyer can help you determine if your misdiagnosis meets the statute of limitations in PA.
How much does it cost to hire a cancer misdiagnosis lawyer?
Most medical malpractice lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay any fees upfront. Instead, the lawyer is paid a percentage of your award if you are successful in your case.
What are the benefits of hiring a cancer misdiagnosis lawyer?
An experienced cancer misdiagnosis lawyer can help you build a strong case and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. They will also handle all of the legal aspects of your case so you can focus on your recovery.
What are some common examples of cancer misdiagnosis?
Some common examples of cancer misdiagnosis include:
- Misdiagnosing a lump in the breast as a benign cyst
- Misdiagnosing a mole as a benign skin lesion
- Misdiagnosing ovarian cancer as a benign cyst
- Misdiagnosing a colon polyp as a benign growth
- Misdiagnosing prostate cancer as a less serious condition
- Misdiagnosing a lung nodule as a benign scar
- Misdiagnosing blood cancer as an infection
What are the risk factors for a cancer misdiagnosis?
Some risk factors for a cancer misdiagnosis include:
- Age: Cancer misdiagnosis is more common in older adults.
- Race and ethnicity: Cancer misdiagnosis is more common in certain racial and ethnic groups, such as African Americans and Hispanics.
- Type of cancer: Some types of cancer are more difficult to diagnose than others. For example, brain cancer and pancreatic cancer are often difficult to diagnose early.
- Complexity of the patient's medical history: Patients with complex medical histories are more likely to be misdiagnosed.
What can I do to protect myself from a cancer misdiagnosis?
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from a cancer misdiagnosis:
- Get regular cancer screenings according to your age and risk factors.
- Be honest with your doctor about your medical history and symptoms.
- Ask questions about your diagnosis and treatment options.
- Get a second opinion from another doctor if you are uncomfortable with your doctor's diagnosis or treatment plan.
We’ll determine if you have a case. Call today at 215-525-6824 or complete this form: