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Albany Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer
Any kind of medical mistake can have deadly consequences. Especially when the medical mistake involves a missed, delayed, or false cancer diagnosis. A diagnostic error involving cancer can lead to thousands of dollars in expensive treatments, which could be entirely unnecessary. Because of this, it’s incredibly common for people to suffer from the debilitating combination of medical expenses and lost wages. Not only that, but victims of medical malpractice also suffer from serious, life-threatening medical emergencies. If this sounds similar to your situation, you need a New York cancer misdiagnosis lawyer from Bailey, Johnson & Peck on your side. To schedule a free consultation at our law firm, call 518-456-0082 today.
How Many Americans are Diagnosed With Cancer Every Year?
According to data from the American Cancer Society, approximately 1.9 million Americans received a cancer diagnosis and approximately 600,000 Americans died from cancer in 2021. Also according to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosis in the U.S., with more than 280,000 diagnoses expected in 2022.
Types of Diagnostic Errors
Unfortunately with this many cancer cases in the U.S. on an annual basis, diagnostic errors are bound to occur. There are three main types of diagnostic errors including incorrect diagnosis, missed diagnosis, and delayed diagnosis.
Incorrect diagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to provide the correct diagnosis to their patient. In this case, the doctor would fail to recognize cancer symptoms as cancer, and then provide an incorrect diagnosis. Or, on the other hand, the doctor would provide a false diagnosis of cancer when really the patient is suffering from a different condition.
Missed diagnosis is basically when a doctor tells a patient that there is nothing wrong with them and sends them home to further deteriorate. This type of diagnostic error is incredibly dangerous for cancer patients especially. Every single type of cancer is an incredibly aggressive disease. Without a timely diagnosis and medical treatment, the patient rapidly loses their chances of survival.
Lastly, a delayed diagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to timely diagnose a patient. In other words, the doctor does provide a correct diagnosis, but it takes them several months, or even years, to do so. Early detection of cancer is crucial for survival. If a doctor finally diagnoses a patient 4 months after they started seeing them for their cancer symptoms, it could be too late to treat it.
How Often Does Medical Misdiagnosis Occur in the U.S.?
There’s truly no way of knowing how many cancer misdiagnosis cases have occurred in recent history. However, diagnostic errors in general are incredibly common. In fact, many studies claim that medical misdiagnosis is one of the most common types of medical negligence in the United States.
For example, a 2013 Johns Hopkins Study claims that anywhere from 80,000 to 160,000 injuries and deaths occurred due to only diagnostic errors between the years of 1986 and 2010. That means that roughly 1,920,000 to 3,840,000 injuries and deaths occurred in about 25 years due to medical malpractice.
Why Does Cancer Misdiagnosis Happen?
Modern medicine is more advanced than ever before, but still, mistakes happen every day. Unfortunately, one of those mistakes is the failure to diagnose cancer in an accurate and timely manner.
But how does it happen? Shouldn’t cancer be easy to spot? Common examples of cancer misdiagnosis includes miscommunication between doctors and specialists, failure to accurately read or interpret test results from tissue samples and CT scans, lack of knowledge about certain types of cancers, refusing to run proper tests despite the patient’s request, mistaking cancer symptoms with symptoms of other minor illnesses, the list goes on.
There are dozens of types of cancers out there, some more rare than others. Generally, doctors pay less attention to rare cancers. Additionally, some doctors simply don’t know enough about some of the more rare cancers. This can lead them to confuse your symptoms with a different, more minor illness.
You would think that with all the futuristic tests and scans we have nowadays, that cancer would be incredibly easy to spot. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, especially when the cancer is in an early stage. Pathologists are the ones who have to carefully analyze tissue samples and try to pick out which cells are cancerous and which ones aren’t. Sometimes this is a difficult feat which can lead to mistakes.
If you have had a variety of debilitating symptoms for several weeks or months that could indicate cancer, it’s always best to get a second opinion and a second set of proper testing. This can be a frustrating and expensive process, but it’s better than going home and waiting for your condition to potentially get worse.
Consequences of a Cancer Misdiagnosis for a Patient
A doctor’s failure to diagnose cancer can have deadly consequences. Those who do have cancer but receive a missed or delayed diagnosis often don’t receive proper treatment until it’s too late. This causes them long-term suffering and a tragic wrongful death.
On the other hand, those who don’t have cancer but receive a false cancer diagnosis are subjected to unnecessary, aggressive chemotherapy. Chemotherapy often creates debilitating side effects for actual cancer patients, but it’s even worse if the patient doesn’t need the chemotherapy. Unnecessary chemotherapy can lead to serious injury and wrongful death.
Not only is a doctor’s failure to diagnose cancer devastating for the patient, but it’s also devastating for their families. You can probably imagine that watching your family member endure months of missed or delayed diagnosis (or even unnecessary treatment for an incorrect diagnosis) is physically, mentally, and financially devastating. That’s why so many family members push for cancer misdiagnosis lawsuits, especially when their loved one passes away.
Most Common Types of Misdiagnosed Cancers
Colorectal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and bladder cancer are among the top 10 misdiagnosed diseases in the U.S. according to a 2022 JAMA Network Open study. Additionally, this study claims that 59% of these diagnostic errors occurred because doctors failed to properly interpret test results. Below, our cancer misdiagnosis lawyers explain how some of America’s most common cancers are confused with other illnesses.
Colorectal cancer is basically when a person has colon cancer and rectum cancer at the same time. Colorectal cancer can cause symptoms like abdominal pain, bloody stool, constipation, a general change in bowel function, excess gas, chronic fatigue, and unexplained weight loss.
Almost any type of stomach issue can cause the same symptoms. For example, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can cause a general change in bowel habits, excess gas, constipation or diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Even food allergies or a poor diet can cause symptoms that are similar to colorectal cancer.
The symptoms associated with lung cancer are chest or rib pain while breathing, a chronic cough (that can be dry, bloody, or with mucus), wheezing, shortness of breath, hoarse voice, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, loss of appetite, etc. A medical professional could mistake the symptoms of lung cancer with any other type of respiratory illness. They could even chalk up the symptoms of lung cancer to frequent allergies.
Cervical cancer is a type of cancer in the lowest part of the uterus: the cervix. Most doctors recommend that women undergo a pap smear every 3 years for the sake of early detection. Symptoms can include pelvic pain, pain during intercourse, changes in menstruation, abnormal vaginal bleeding, abnormal vaginal discharge, fatigue, and more. Some cervical cancer patients don’t have symptoms at all.
A medical professional could easily confuse the aforementioned symptoms with a general hormonal imbalance, side effects from hormonal birth control, STDs, yeast infections, fibroids, endometriosis, or bacterial vaginosis. That’s why it’s so important for women to see their gynecologist on an annual basis and to receive pap smears every 3 years.
The symptoms associated with breast cancer include a breast lump, one or two inverted nipples, nipple discharge, breast redness, breast swelling, and general breast tenderness. A medical professional could misdiagnose breast cancer with a non-cancerous breast cyst or a clogged milk duct (mastitis).
The symptoms associated with skin cancer include new growths, lumps, or moles on the skin or a change in a pre-existing mole. Doctors could misdiagnose skin cancer with noncancerous moles, allergic reactions to soap or other body products, non cancerous warts, or psoriasis.
Damages for Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawsuit
Cancer misdiagnosis lawsuits can provide compensation for the following damages:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future rehabilitative bills if the diagnostic error led to long term injuries or disabilities
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress of the patient and their family members
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Counseling expenses in order to cope with emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial expenses if the failure to diagnose led to wrongful death
What is the Average Settlement Value for Medical Malpractice Cases?
The average settlement value for a medical negligence case in the U.S. is approximately $329,565 according to a 2017 JAMA study. Depending on the specific facts of your medical malpractice claim, you could win more or less than that amount.
Some states have caps on the amount of compensation you could receive from a medical malpractice lawsuit. But New York state is one of a handful of states that doesn’t place caps on medical malpractice cases. So you can potentially win as much money as your case is worth with the help of the cancer misdiagnosis attorneys at Bailey, Johnson & Peck.
Lavern’s Law in New York
New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed Lavern’s Law in January 2018 which extends the statute of limitations for victims of cancer misdiagnosis. Previously, the statute of limitations for all medical malpractice cases was 2.5 years from the day of the negligent act. The only exception to this rule was if someone discovered that a doctor had left a surgical instrument inside their body. In cases like this, New York medical negligence victims had 1 year from the day they discovered the surgical instrument to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Thanks to Lavern’s Law, cancer misdiagnosis victims now have 2.5 years from the day that the doctor knew or should have known about the cancer OR the day of the last treatment from the negligent doctor. Additionally under Lavern’s Law, cancer patients cannot file cancer misdiagnosis cases more than 7 years after the negligent event.
How Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyers at Bailey, Johnson & Peck Can Help You
If you’re looking to file a cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit, it’s crucial to have the experienced medical malpractice attorneys from Bailey, Johnson & Peck on your side. We will help you with the following:
- Providing a compassionate source of support during an impossible time
- Carefully investigating medical records and other crucial pieces of information
- Hiring experienced medical experts to determine if your doctor failed to meet the medical standard of care
- Determining who is at fault for your suffering: the doctor, the hospital, the nurse, the pathologist, etc.
- Accurately calculating how much your case is worth
- Dealing with all the paperwork associated with your case
Call a New York Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer at Bailey, Johnson & Peck TodayIf your doctor failed to diagnose cancer which caused you an infinite amount of pain and suffering, they should be held accountable for their negligence. As a victim of medical malpractice, you have legal options. At Bailey, Johnson & Peck, we have more than 40 years of combined experience in litigating cases involving medical malpractice. Our law firm will fight aggressively for your justice. We’re ready to start an attorney-client relationship with you. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced New York cancer misdiagnosis lawyer, call 518-456-0082 today.
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