Failure to Diagnose Cancer

Diagnosing cancer is a multi-phase process that isn’t always quick. It usually begins with a visit to the doctor’s office to discuss symptoms you have been having. Typically, doctors recommend minor treatments at first, rather than assume the worst right from the get-go.

For example, a woman may go to the doctor with troubling symptoms of frequent bloating, pain in the pelvic area, and pain during urination. A doctor may first assume that the patient has an ovarian cyst, prescribe pain medication, and tell the patient to come back if there are any additional problems. If problems persist, a doctor may recommend blood and imaging tests to determine if the condition is anything more serious, such as ovarian cancer.

The question is, in cancer cases, did a physician fail to make a timely and accurate cancer diagnosis to the detriment of the patient? These types of cases are exceedingly complex, and best handled by experienced medical malpractice attorneys, like those at Power Rogers & Smith.

Failure to “Connect the Dots”

Because the human body and its symptoms are complex, it can be difficult to determine the root of various symptoms. Are the patient’s headaches and abdominal pain unrelated, minor issues? Or are they related, pointing to a more serious condition? This is where the accepted standard of care comes in.

Accepted Standard of Care for Medical Professionals

According to The American Medical Association Center for Health Policy Research, up to 17 malpractice lawsuits are filed per every 100 physicians annually. This means that, according to the plaintiffs, 17 out of every 100 physicians, on average, fails to uphold or meet the accepted standard of care. Medical malpractice lawsuits allege that a healthcare professional:

  1. Breached a duty of care
  2. The patient suffered harm
  3. The patient’s harm was caused by the physician’s breach of duty

The job of the plaintiff’s attorney in medical malpractice cases is to convince the judge/jury that the physician’s conduct as it relates to the patient/plaintiff did not meet the accepted standard of care in the medical industry. That is to say that other doctors, given similar information and training, would have been able to properly diagnose and treat the patient’s condition.

Misreading an Imaging Test

There are various imaging tests that doctors might use to make a medical diagnosis. The test a doctor chooses to use will depend on the patient’s health as well as their symptoms. Some of the most common imaging tests are:

  • CT scans
  • MRI scans
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasounds
  • Mammogram machines

If your doctor failed to diagnose you or someone you love with cancer because they misread or misinterpreted the results of an imaging test, we encourage you to contact Power Rogers & Smith for an evaluation.

Call Our Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Cancer is a serious disease, and prognosis is more positive the sooner action is taken to treat it. Time is precious when a patient has cancer, so if your doctor failed to diagnose you or misdiagnosed you, we invite you to contact the Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Power Rogers & Smith today for a free evaluation of your legal rights and options. Should you retain us as your legal counsel, you will not have to pay us unless we secure a recovery on your behalf.