Getting a positive cancer diagnosis is overwhelming. In most cases, disbelief is common among patients. Soon, other emotions kick in.
However, it’s even worse knowing that you were misdiagnosed.
Yes, cancer misdiagnosis is common. For instance, 12 million people suffer cancer misdiagnosis in the United States alone. Sadly, between 40,000 and 80,000 people die annually from complications emanating from this misdiagnosis.
Further, cancer is a very common disease. That explains why it’s the most misdiagnosed disease on the planet.
Why is Cancer Misdiagnosed?
Cancer is a terrible and rampant disease. We are all full of fear and anxiety at even the slightest possibility of receiving a cancer diagnosis. As you know, the key to beating cancer is starting treatment at the early stages of cancer.
Therefore, cancer diagnoses must be made as early and accurately as possible. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to be erroneously diagnosed with a different type of cancer than the one you have or to suffer a significant delay in diagnosis. All these scenarios result in delayed treatment for your cancer. Even worse, you may get cancer treatment when in fact you don’t have any cancer.
- Cancer Diagnosis When There’s No Cancer
Yes, technological advancements are revolutionizing the medical industry. Unfortunately, cancer diagnosis still revolves around a doctor or medical staff looking at slides under a microscope. And no human being, including the pathologist, is perfect. Therefore, he or she may make a mistake in their analysis due to haste, stress, or inexperience. Moreover, the pathologist usually doesn’t have important information about the patient’s clinical picture including their symptoms, risk factors, and medical history.
Having a false positive wreaks havoc in a person’s life. Although this sounds like welcomed relief, a misdiagnosis results in severe anxiety, distrust in doctors, traumatic disruptions, dangerous and unnecessary medical treatments.
- When There Is Cancer, But the Wrong Kind is Diagnosed?
At times, the doctor may diagnose a patient with the wrong type of cancer. Inexperience with a specific type of cancer may cause a pathologist to miss small markers that distinguish one type of cancer from the other. These mistakes have devastating consequences as they affect the type, nature, intensity, and duration of treatment.
The good thing, you can address this type of misdiagnosis. All you need is to seek a second pathologist to double-check the results from the first pathologist.
- Delayed Diagnosis
It’s common knowledge that early detection and treatment of cancer increases the survival rate. What this means is, a delay in diagnosis is a catastrophic problem for many patients.
But how does this happen? For example, the doctor may fail to appreciate the importance of abnormal test results of a patient and order a follow-up test result which may reveal the presence of cancerous cells. Alternatively, the doctor may overlook the changes in the patient’s diagnostic history or clinical picture that may indicate the presence of cancer in the body. Consequently, the patient goes on with their normal lives without knowing that cancerous cells are growing and spreading fast in their body.
What Do You Do After a Cancer Misdiagnosis?
Cancer misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis decreases the patient’s chances of survival. While you can sue for medical negligence, no amount of money or compensation can make up for the person’s unnecessary and preventable death. The pain and anguish from premature death would’ve been avoided if the healthcare providers acted properly.
However, premature death causes financial hardship for the families and the party responsible for this should bear the healthcare costs. Further, delayed diagnosis and treatment results in expensive healthcare costs lost wages, and disability in some cases.
So, if you or your loved one suffers injury or loses their life due to cancer misdiagnosis, you can sue for damages. And yes, you may get compensation for:
- The current and future medical costs
- Long-term disability
- Current and potential loss of wages
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of quality of life
- The burial expenses
- Physical pain and emotional trauma
- Long-term care expenses
The ability to get these benefits is dependent on the strength of the medical malpractice case you present in court. Therefore, look for competent lawyers capable of discharging your burden of proof and twist the case in your favor. That’s the only way to get the rightful compensation.