The best way to beat cancer is to diagnose the disease in its earliest stages, when treatment can be most effective. However, when a doctor makes a misdiagnosis of cancer in a patient, the delay of treatment could allow the disease to advance to a stage where treatments may no longer be helpful.
Misdiagnosis of cancer is a common problem all over Florida and the U.S. There are three main types of cancer misdiagnosis:
- A failure to diagnosis occurs when a doctor does not diagnose a patient’s cancer. Failing to diagnose a patient’s cancer in its earliest stages could eliminate some treatment options and make it harder, if not impossible to stop the progress of the disease.
- An incorrect diagnosis occurs when a doctor diagnoses a patient with the wrong cancer. Not only could a wrong diagnosis result in a patient in the wrong treatment, it delays treatment of their actual cancer.
- A “false positive” diagnosis occurs when a doctor diagnoses a patient as having cancer and it turns out they don’t. Patients may undergo dangerous, potentially life-threatening cancer treatments such as chemotherapy or surgery only to find out that they never had cancer to begin with.
What Cancers Are Most Commonly Misdiagnosed?
Cancer can be misdiagnosed when a doctor fails to do a thorough exam or perform the necessary tests. A doctor may also misdiagnose a cancer due to mistakes made during the laboratory analysis of a patient’s blood, urine and other biological samples.
Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed cancers in Florida include:
- Breast Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Skin Cancer (Melanoma)
- Cervical Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Colon Cancer (Colorectal Cancer)
- Endometrial Cancer
When Does a Cancer Misdiagnosis Qualify as Malpractice?
Doctors are legally obligated to provide their patients with a certain level of professional care. This includes taking the necessary actions to correctly diagnose and treat a patient’s condition. When a doctor fails to do so, and the patient suffers physical and/or economic damages as a result, the doctor could be held liable for medical malpractice.
A cancer misdiagnosis may rise to the level of medical malpractice if the doctor failed to:
- Recognize reasonably apparent symptoms of cancer;
- Order the appropriate cancer testing and screening;
- Conduct follow up tests based on positive or abnormal results of original test;
- Take into account a patient’s medical history of cancer, or family history of cancer during diagnosis; and
- Follow the proper protocols or procedures for conducting cancer testing, resulting in errors in the test results.
Doctors aren’t the only ones that can be guilty of medical malpractice. Negligent errors on the part of lab analysts, medical technicians, nurses, pharmacists, and administrators could also be considered malpractice.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit after a Misdiagnosis of Cancer
If you believe a cancer misdiagnosis made your disease more difficult or impossible to treat, it’s important to speak to an experienced misdiagnosis attorney as soon as possible. A cancer misdiagnosis attorney will be able to identify and collect the data pertaining to your case and do the research necessary to determine if you have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit based on a cancer misdiagnosis.
Pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit for a cancer misdiagnosis can be a challenge. Not all medical errors rise to the level of malpractice. And you will have the burden of proving that the doctor’s cancer misdiagnosis was responsible for your current hardships. In order to prevail, you must be able to demonstrate that:
- A doctor/patient relationship existed;
- The doctor’s negligent behavior resulted in a misdiagnosis of your cancer;
- Your condition was made worse as a result of this cancer misdiagnosis; and
- You suffered damages as a result of the doctor’s cancer misdiagnosis.
Get Help from a Fort Lauderdale Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney
Lisa Levine is a nationally recognized medical malpractice attorney who has represented numerous cancer patients in Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Weston, Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, Plantation, Oakland Park, and other Broward County communities who have had their conditions made worse by the misdiagnosis of a cancer doctor. She has the knowledge, skills, and resources to successfully pursue even the most difficult medical malpractice cases. Lisa is especially experienced in misdiagnosis litigation involving breast, ovarian, cervical, and other cancers that affect women, men and children.
We encourage you to schedule a free initial consultation with Lisa Levine to discuss your case. Lisa will carefully listen to your side of the story, answer any legal questions you may have, and provide sound, professional advice on the best way to move forward with your medical malpractice claim.
Cancer misdiagnosis cases are handled on a contingency basis, which means there are no upfront costs to Lisa’s clients and she only collects a fee after she’s secured your settlement. Contact the law offices of Lisa Levine ASAP — Florida state law applies strict statute of limitation laws to cancer misdiagnosis and other medical malpractice lawsuits. If you wait too long, the courts may refuse to hear your case!