One of the most devastating diagnoses someone can ever receive is a cancer diagnosis. However, once a person has been diagnosed with cancer, they can begin treatment. The sooner a patient learns his or her diagnosis, the sooner they can begin exploring their options, speaking with medical experts, and starting down the road to recovery. When cancer is not caught quickly, there is typically a greater chance of the cancer spreading throughout the body. In many cases, an early cancer diagnosis and swift treatment regimen can save someone’s life. However, when a doctor fails to diagnosis cancer or misdiagnoses it as something else, the patient may experience unnecessary pain and suffering and worsened health. The diagnostic mistake may even cost the patient his or her life.
Diagnostic Mistakes Involving Cancer
There are two main types of diagnostic mistakes regarding cancer: failure to property diagnose cancer and diagnosing cancer when the patient does not actually have cancer. More commonly, a person does have cancer but doctors do not take the appropriate steps to recognize and treat the cancer. It is often very difficult to know if a doctor has made a diagnostic error. Doctors and other healthcare professionals are not omniscient. They cannot always know for sure what is wrong with a patient. However, there are some cases where a doctor’s diagnostic mistake constitutes medical negligence.
Inadequate Testing and Improper Testing May Lead to Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer
Some medical tests are able to detect cancer before a patient even exhibits symptoms. Cervical cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer may be detected through various types of scans. However, if a medical professional does not perform the test correctly or misinterprets the scan, a patient with cancer may be told that he or she does not have cancer. Cancer is not always detectable via scans and tests. In cases like these, doctors should use the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and family history to help make a diagnosis....