When Failure To Diagnose Cancer Leads To A Tragic Outcome
With early diagnosis, many types of cancer can now be successfully treated. Unfortunately, a delay in diagnosing the disease can allow the cancer to advance to a stage where treatment may only add a few months to a patient’s life.
At Shollenberger Januzzi & Wolfe, LLP, our attorneys represent people who have been harmed by a doctor’s failure to diagnose cancer. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. With offices in Harrisburg and Enola, we represent victims of medical malpractice throughout central Pennsylvania.
When Was It Negligence?
In some cases, there is nothing a doctor could have done to diagnose your cancer at an early stage. For example, if you failed to contact your doctor concerning a suspicious mole, he or she would not be guilty of failure to diagnose skin melanoma. However, if your doctor had an opportunity to diagnose your cancer at a treatable stage but failed to do so, he or she may have committed malpractice.
The following are examples of negligence in diagnosing cancer:
- Failure to diagnose cancer despite observable symptoms
- Failure to order appropriate cancer screening tests
- Misinterpretation of or failure to communicate lab test results
To have a case of malpractice against your doctor, you would also need to prove that an earlier diagnosis could have made a difference in your outcome. Some types of cancer are so virulent that early diagnosis may not make a significant difference in a patient’s outcome. The following are examples of types of cancer that can potentially be successfully treated if diagnosed at an early stage:
- Skin cancer or melanoma
- Colorectal cancer
- Breast cancer