It is imperative that doctors be trained to recognize early warning signs of cancer. Failure to do so precludes swift treatment of the disease. If a doctor misses or misdiagnoses cancer, aggressive or invasive treatment may become necessary. Invasive surgery leaves a patient at risk of unnecessary tissue loss or even death, while aggressive radiation and chemotherapy treatments are agonizing and costly. David A. Axelrod & Associates fights for patients who have suffered pain and injuries due to cancer-related medical malpractice.
Failure to Refer for Testing
When a doctor is presented with a sick patient, he must know what signs and symptoms indicate the patient may be suffering from cancer. Observing these signs, the doctor should refer the patient for further testing such as a colonoscopy, prostate test, mammogram, or cancer screening by a qualified oncologist. If the doctor misses the warning signs of cancer or misdiagnoses them as a less significant illness, then the patient loses the opportunity to treat the cancer at an early stage.
Failure to Treat
In some cases, the doctors do the right test, but then fail to follow up with the patient appropriately. For instance, a biopsy may show that the patient has a cancerous mass, but the doctor’s office may neglect to call the patient, or neglect to advise the patient that she needs to see a specialist or seek other treatment. If the condition unnecessarily worsens due to the patient’s unwitting failure to get the necessary treatment, this may form the basis for a cancer medical malpractice action.
Misdiagnosing a Cancerous Lump or Tumor
In other instances, doctors are presented with a patient who has a small lump. If they fail to appropriately test the lump, they will not know it is a cancerous growth, and may misdiagnose it as benign. Again, this prevents the patient from undergoing the least invasive, least painful, and most potentially effective treatment plan. Many medical malpractice claims result from the delayed diagnosis of breast cancer in particular when the patient goes on to needlessly suffer pain and the loss of breast tissue.
When a dermatologist sees a patient who suffers from a skin condition, his professional training and expertise should guide him on whether it may be a potentially serious, cancerous condition. He should be able to recognize the warning signs of squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, or melanoma. If the skin condition has any of the early warning signs for these diseases, the dermatologist should refer the patient for testing and potential surgical excision. Failing to do so may constitute medical malpractice, as skin cancer can quickly spread and severely worsen.
David A. Axelrod & Associates: Proven Results Cancer Medical Malpractice Cases
David A. Axelrod & Associates has handled serious medical malpractice claims premised on the failure of a health care provider to properly diagnose cancer. In one case, David A. Axelrod & Associates recovered $1,950,000 from an urologist and his practice for their failure to diagnose and treat recurrent bladder cancer. The urologist’s misdiagnosis persisted for a period of two years, allowing the cancer to spread and ultimately kill the patient.