Chicago Misdiagnosis/Failure to Diagnose Cancer Lawyers
Most people either know someone that has been affected by cancer or have themselves fought a battle with this devastating disease. The prevalence of cancer is astounding and there are an estimated 1.6 million new cases every year in the United States according to the American Cancer Society. Despite the fact that a cure for cancer is not yet known, it has been proven that detecting the disease in its early stages and obtaining proper treatment can significantly increase the chances of survival.
Early detection and treatment can enable survivors of cancer to live a long and normal life. This is one of the reasons why regular visits to the doctor are so important. There have been many instances where doctors have been credited with saving lives through the early detection of cancer. Unfortunately, far too often there are also cases where a patient visited their doctor while presenting clear signs and symptoms of cancer, but were not diagnosed. Sometimes this occurs due to a failure to obtain the right diagnostic tests, such as a CT scan or X-ray. Another reason why this happens is because of assumptions made about symptoms that are simply inaccurate.
There have been many cases where a patient with a chronic cough was diagnosed with allergies, when they actually had cancer. When this happens, the consequences can be fatal because the window for early detection has passed and the cancer often progresses to the point where there are no medical solutions. This situation has occurred even on occasions when the patient presented severe symptoms that should have warranted further investigation to understand and diagnose the root cause of those symptoms.
While some doctors might interpret fatigue, shortness of breath and a chronic cough as signs of lung cancer that warrant diagnostic testing, others might have an entirely different interpretation and assume the symptoms are signs of a non-threatening illness that does not require further investigation. To some degree, the methods and decisions made are a function of the doctors’ education and training.
Most treating physicians understand the importance of ruling out the worse possible scenario, which is referred to as a differential diagnosis. They understand that it’s better to perform the proper testing to rule out a deadly disease, even if it ends up being a minor illness. On the flip side, it’s also possible to misdiagnose cancer by incorrectly reading lab results. Unfortunately, human error plays a significant role in the misinterpretation of critical information, such as data related to a breast tissue biopsy. In some instances, the false diagnoses of cancer can be just as devastating as a failure to diagnose cancer, depending on the subsequent course of action.
There have been many cases where a benign tumor was falsely reported and resulted in cancer treatments. One of the reasons why this is so troubling is because that treatment can cause health issues and complications that were completely avoidable. The equal and opposite is also true. Interpreting a cancerous tumor as benign can delay treatment and result in a devastating outcome. As aforementioned, this delay in treatment can lead to irreversible consequences.
When cancer spreads in the body, it often metastasizes to other organs. This means there’s a chance that it will begin to affect nerves and blood vessels, which is often when the condition becomes more evident. Unfortunately, there are far too many cases where cancer went undetected for a long period of time because there were no obvious symptoms. A common example is cancer of the pancreas. This type of cancer is hard to detect because the pancreas is a deep organ that’s under the small intestine and behind the stomach. As a result of its location, there usually are no symptoms until the cancer is advanced and has spread.
There are many other types of cancer that do in fact result in symptoms, such as weight loss, dizziness, fever and fatigue. Sometimes the reason why a person with cancer feels tired is because cancer often releases substances in the body that alter the way in which the body processes food. In other words, the body becomes less efficient at using food for energy.
Since cancer treatment is always most effective when the disease is identified early, it’s imperative that you know the symptoms. Here are a few examples: extreme tiredness, unexplained weight loss, constant fever, pain or soreness in the body, lumps under the skin, changes in bladder or bowel function, soars that won’t heal, hoarseness or a nagging cough, unusual bleeding or changes in the skin. These are just a few examples of symptoms that often occur as a result of cancer in the body. They are also examples of when it would be prudent to see a doctor immediately.
If you believe that you are someone you love has been misdiagnosed or did not receive a timely diagnoses of cancer, contact Zayed Law Offices for a consultation.