Orlando Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer
Cancer can be an insidious and devastating disease. The possibility of a cancer diagnosis puts fear into patients and their loved ones. When attempting to beat cancer, it’s best to obtain an accurate diagnosis early. However, such diagnoses do not always occur.
Unfortunately, it is estimated that 10% to 20% of all cancer cases are misdiagnosed. For instance, sometimes, a doctor fails to identify cancer. Sometimes patients are erroneously diagnosed with a different type of cancer than they actually have. Some patients experience a significant delay in their cancer diagnoses. Still, there are others who are diagnosed with cancer when they don’t even have it. If you have been the subject of any of these scenarios, contact an Orlando cancer misdiagnosis lawyer or Fort Lauderdale cancer misdiagnosis lawyer at Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, P.A. to learn if you have legal recourse for medical malpractice. If you have had a delayed diagnosis, the opportunity for cancer to have worsened is possible.
How Does Cancer Misdiagnosis Happen?
There are many stages or moments during the medical process in which a misdiagnosis can occur. Human errors such as doctor negligence or incompetence may be the cause when determining which types of cancer testing may be needed.
It may be occasioned in part by errors in performing diagnostic imaging or improper procedures when collecting cell samples for a biopsy.
False positive cancer test results indicate that cancer is present, although the patient does not actually have cancer. By contrast, false negative test results indicate that a cancer patient does not have cancer when, in fact, cancer is present. Sometimes these false positives and false negatives are inherent in the tests themselves and, on their own, they have nothing to do with physician error. Still, a doctor should understand test limitations and reorder a second test when necessary.
In most cases of cancer, a medical professional must interpret the results of testing for suspected cancer. Pathologists are trained physicians who study and diagnose diseases such as cancer. Despite results from cancer testing, human factors or a high level of ignorance of cancer knowledge by a pathologist or other specialist may lead to cancer misdiagnosis. It’s important that doctors keep up with knowledge in the field, but this doesn’t always happen.
For this reason, patients are often counseled to seek a second opinion. A medical facility that offers general diagnostic services may not be able to offer the level of expertise required for the diagnosis of a specific type of cancer.
Common Cancer Testing Failures
Take, for instance, mammograms. Mammograms are often misread. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that several factors may increase the risk of faulty mammography results. Among the most common risk factors is high breast tissue density, which can obscure accurate reading of the mammography.
Certain types of blood testing are designed to identify cancerous tumor markers. Tumor markers are chemicals that are generated by cancerous tumors. However, the body naturally makes certain tumor markers, so elevated markers may indicate something other than cancer. Tumor markers are not always present in cancer patients. When such markers are identified, they may not be specific to a single type of tumor, which may present difficulty during a cancer diagnosis.
Can I Sue My Doctor or Hospital for Cancer Misdiagnosis
In many instances, cancer misdiagnosis is medical malpractice. In order to successfully prove your case, you must show that the medical professional:
- Was your healthcare provider and owed you a duty of care;
- Breached that duty of care by not meeting the professional standard of care required by a similarly situated professional; and
- He or she caused your injury, which is compensable.
If your cancer misdiagnosis was caused by an employee of a hospital, you may have a cause of action against the hospital. However, in many cases, the doctor is an independent contractor of the hospital and not an employee. An experienced Orlando cancer misdiagnosis lawyer or Fort Lauderdale cancer misdiagnosis lawyer at Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, P.A. can help with your claim.
Call an Orlando Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer Today
The average payout for medical malpractice in Florida is $242,000. A number of our medical malpractice verdicts have been several times that amount. We are client-focused and have extensive medical knowledge to evaluate your case and help you understand the compensation you are owed due to a cancer misdiagnosis. Contact an experienced Orlando cancer misdiagnosis lawyer or Fort Lauderdale cancer misdiagnosis lawyer at Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, P.A. today.