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When is a Doctor Liable for Failing to Diagnose Cancer?

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyersCancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Almost everyone has a story of how cancer has touched their lives. Fortunately, medical advances have significantly decreased the rate at which people die of cancer. Cancer can now be detected at an earlier stage and more and more people can get the treatment they need before the disease takes their lives. However, to get the life-saving cancer treatment a patient needs, he or she must first be diagnosed with the disease by a physician. Failing to promptly diagnose cancer can constitute a form of medical malpractice.

Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis of Cancer

Receiving a diagnosis is the first step to stopping the spread of cancer. When a doctor or specialist fails to see the warning signs of cancer and order the appropriate cancer screening tests, a patient may suffer irreparable harm. Sadly, some patients die because a medical professional fails to diagnose cancer.

There are many different ways in which medical negligence can lead to a delayed, misdiagnosis, or missed diagnosis of cancer, including:

  • Failure to take a patient’s complaints or symptoms seriously
  • Failure to order a mammography, colonoscopy, or other cancer screening test
  • Not accounting for a patient’s family history of cancer
  • Misdiagnosing cancer as another medical condition
  • Not diagnosing cancer as quickly as would be reasonably expected

Understanding the Accepted Medical Standard of Care

Doctors cannot always immediately know what is wrong with a patient. The signs and symptoms of cancer are often subtle until the disease has advanced. Therefore, it can sometimes be hard to know if a doctor’s failure to diagnose cancer constitutes medical malpractice. The standard which is used to determine if a healthcare provider’s actions were negligent is the “medical standard of care.” Medical negligence occurs when the quality of medical care provided by a doctor falls below what would be expected of a reasonably skillful doctor in a similar position.

Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case

If you or a loved one suffered from a delayed cancer diagnosis, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. You could recover compensation for:

  • Additional cancer treatments you or your loved one had to endure because of the delayed or missed diagnosis
  • Lost income/ lost financial support
  • Harm to your earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  •  Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of companionship or consortium

Contact a Rolling Meadows Failure to Diagnose Cancer Lawyer

A victim of medical negligence may be entitled to compensation for medical treatments, physical pain, emotional suffering, and other damages. To learn more, contact a skilled Arlington Heights medical malpractice attorney at Newland & Newland, LLP. Call 847-797-8000 for a free consultation.




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