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Cancer Misdiagnosis and Failure to Diagnose Often Ends in Tragedy

November 21, 2016  ·  By HM&M

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There are many types of medical errors that end badly, but often the most tragic are those involving a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose cancer. Many either lose their lives or a portion of their body that never should have been removed. However, the frequency at which these accidents occur is most concerning. If you or someone you love has been misdiagnosed with cancer, or has suffered because of a failure to diagnose, the following can help you understand your options.

An All-Too-Common Occurrence

Each year, approximately 1.3 million people are diagnosed with some form of cancer. Of those, around one in 71 cases are misdiagnosed. This was determined by a recent study by the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. What is even more concerning, however, is how many of these cases are misclassified, meaning the patient did actually have cancer, but pathologists had misjudged how far or fast the cancer had spread. Much like a failure to diagnose (which is also surprisingly common), such an error can ultimately lead to the unnecessary and untimely death of a patient.

Other Possible Complications

Besides mortality, patients who are either misdiagnosed or experience a delayed diagnosis are at risk for other complications that can diminish their overall quality of life. For example, a patient who is misdiagnosed with breast cancer may have their breasts unnecessarily removed. Alternatively, a delayed diagnosis of breast cancer could necessitate the need for breast removal when chemotherapy or radiation might have sufficed if the cancer had been diagnosed sooner.

Add to that the risk of infection and complications from surgery itself, time off work that may not have been necessary, and pain and suffering, it becomes clear that a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose cancer is a dangerous and damaging medical error that can drastically impact a patient’s life. Because of this far-reaching loss, it is critical that patients know what to do, should an error in diagnosis happen to them.

Understanding Your Options

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury or wrongful death because of a cancer misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, you have the right to pursue compensation for your losses. Unfortunately, such cases are highly complex and can be emotionally difficult for the victim and their family. As such, victims and their families should seek skilled and experienced legal assistance with their case.

At Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., we fight to protect the rights of victims and their families. Dedicated and experienced, our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers always pursue the most compensation possible. Get the assistance that you deserve. Schedule your consultation by calling [[phone]] today.


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