Rhoades & Morrow

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DELAWARE INJURY LAWYERS

Wilmington 302-427-9500 Bear 302-834-8484 Milford 302-422-6705

When Doctors Misdiagnose Cancer

When Doctors Misdiagnose Cancer: When Doctors Misdiagnose Cancer

We depend on our doctors’ education and training to make the best decisions for our health, yet there are times when a doctor’s mistake has dire consequences. In the case of progressive diseases such as cancer, the failure to properly diagnose the condition can leave a patient with few treatment options once it is too late. Patients who are harmed by medical negligence have a right to take legal action against their doctor.

 Challenges in Diagnosing Cancer

With diseases that progress over time, like cancer, early detection and treatment is best. However, some cancers are especially difficult to detect in the early stages. Some forms of cancer, such as lung cancer, present very few symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Symptoms may appear only after the cancer has moved to other parts of the body and the survival rate has been significantly lowered.

For the most accurate diagnosis and assessment for many types of cancer, a tissue sample of the tumor is recommended. For some patients, the surgery required to obtain a biopsy can be risky itself. In some cases, the tumor is not easy to access through surgery. In other cases, the patient is too ill to undergo a biopsy.

Still in other cases when samples are collected, new mutations in cancer cells may not be detected — leading to a wrongful diagnosis. There are also times when patients do not fully disclose their symptoms or simply do not recognize that some symptoms are problematic and should be reported to their doctor.

Proving Medical Malpractice

Even with all of the resources available to them, doctors still make mistakes. When a doctor fails to provide a reasonable standard of care, he or she may have committed medical malpractice. The standard level of care every patient should expect to receive is the same care another doctor with the same experience and training would provide in the same circumstances.

Not every misdiagnosis is medical malpractice, however, especially with diseases such as cancer. Yet when a patient is harmed because their doctor failed to detect cancer when they should have, medical malpractice may have occurred.

Legal Help for a Cancer Misdiagnosis

In cases of medical malpractice, the testimony of another qualified physician is usually required to establish what a reasonable diagnosis and treatment would have been. A plaintiff must show that their illness or injury would not have occurred at all or been worsened had they not received substandard medical care.

Plaintiffs or their surviving family members may argue that poor medical care resulted in a shortened life or unnecessary pain. In some cases, a doctor may be liable for the unnecessary treatment or medication he or she prescribed. If you suspect your doctor missed the signs of your serious illness or injury, you should consider contacting a medical malpractice lawyer for assistance.

Bear Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Those Harmed due to Misdiagnosis

Medical malpractice cases are especially difficult to prove because doctors are well versed in their rights when it comes to patient care. However, it is very important that negligent doctors are held accountable so that additional patients are not harmed by their poor care. If you believe your doctor misdiagnosed or mistreated your illness, contact the Bear medical malpractice lawyers at the law firm of Rhoades & Morrow at 302-834-8484. You can also schedule a free consultation with a Bear medical malpractice lawyer by contacting us online. We advocate for clients in both upstate and downstate Delaware.