How A Delayed Cancer Diagnosis Can Affect A Patient
According to the World Health Organization, cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for almost 10 million deaths in 2020. However, cancer usually has a high chance of cure if detected early and treated appropriately. Unfortunately, many people who develop cancer are diagnosed late, which makes treatment less likely to succeed.
Delays in cancer diagnosis can happen because of various reasons. For example, a patient may cause a delay when they fail to recognize and act on suspicious cancer symptoms. Unfortunately, this happens quite often, and that is mainly because cancer symptoms often mimic symptoms of other illnesses. Also, a medical professional can cause a delay in cancer diagnosis when they fail to recognize cancer symptoms and confuse them for symptoms of another disease. If this happens, a cancer patient may end up misdiagnosed before they are actually diagnosed with cancer.
Consequences of Delayed Cancer Diagnosis
As already mentioned, if cancer is diagnosed late, it makes it hard for treatment to succeed. Usually, delayed diagnosis gives cancer the time to metastasize. When cancer metastasizes, it means it spreads from one part of the body to another. Many cancer deaths occur when cancer moves from the original tumor and spreads to other organs and tissues. If cancer is detected after it has metastasized, it might be substantially more difficult to treat.
Additionally, a delayed cancer diagnosis can result in, among other things, the following:
- Severe pain
- More costly and invasive treatment
- Amputation of limbs
Reasons Medical Professionals Misdiagnose Cancer
Doctors sometimes misdiagnose cancer patients only for a patient to be given a correct diagnosis after their cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Sometimes, this happens because physicians fail to take the necessary steps to get an accurate diagnosis. Some of the main reasons a doctor may misdiagnose a cancer patient include, among others, the following;
- Inaccurate reading of scans or lab reports
- Communication mistakes
- Failure to complete a thorough medical examination
- Failure to consider a patient’s medical history
Victims and Victims’ Families Have Options
When a physician’s negligence causes someone’s cancer to be diagnosed late, the physician may be held liable for any resulting harm and losses. When a physician misdiagnoses cancer, they give the cancer time to grow and cause further damage. Unfortunately, sometimes, the harm that cancer causes is irreversible. Because of this, if a physician’s negligence led to a misdiagnosis, thus a delayed cancer diagnosis, it is only fair that they are held responsible.
Contact an Atlanta Diagnosis Error Attorney
Were you misdiagnosed before you got your cancer diagnosis? If so, our Atlanta diagnosis error attorneys at Carroll Law Firm can help. We can help you protect your rights and hold the at-fault party liable. Call us today at 404-816-4555 to schedule a consultation.