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The serious effects of failing to diagnose cancer

On Behalf of | Dec 24, 2014 | Failure To Diagnose

The American Cancer Society points out that cancer in its early stages is when it is most treatable. At Donovan & O’Connor, LLP, we know that going through cancer is one of the most difficult things you may ever face. We also know that when a doctor misdiagnoses or fails to diagnose the illness, the consequences can be devastating.

Johns Hopkins University reports that a diagnostic error is the most common type of medical mistake, which includes missing a diagnosis, making an incorrect diagnosis or delaying a diagnosis. All it takes is one error in this area to set off a chain reaction of issuing the wrong treatment or allowing a disease to grow. Additionally, a recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association illustrates how several patients experienced a delay in diagnosis of cancer due to a misdiagnosis of Lyme disease.

There are certain cancer-screening guidelines the ACS recommends patients follow. For example, female patients who are 40 or older should receive a mammogram every year. At 50, men and women should start a regimen regarding tests that detect polyps and cancer.

Yet even when patients take the proper precautions, a physician can still miss a cancer diagnosis, allowing the extremely harmful illness to spread and become more dangerous. The ACS reports that more than 585,000 people die from cancer every year, and is the second leading cause of death in the United States.

Our attorneys at Donovan & O’Connor have years of experience holding physicians and medical facilities accountable when a cancer diagnosis is missed or delayed. For more information on this topic, please visit our page on the failure to diagnose cancer.