According to the National Center for Health Statistics, an estimated 565,650 people died from cancer in 2008. More than 15.8 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with cancer, and a study by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine estimates that upwards of 12% of these cancer patients are initially misdiagnosed.
Cancer is a combination of diseases that spreads through the abnormal proliferation of cancerous cells and can occur anywhere in the body. These cancer cells are able to invade other tissues and can travel through the blood and lymph systems throughout the body. With more than one hundred types of cancer present today, it is estimated that 1,638,910 men and women will be diagnosed with a type of cancer in 2012. As cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, it is vitally important to receive regular medical check-ups for cancer.
It is the responsibility of doctors and medical professionals to be on the alert for signs of cancer, and to prescribe the appropriate tests to detect cancer as well. While a diagnosis of cancer can be devastating for a patient, a failure to diagnose cancer is almost always more devastating. If cancer is not caught early on, the cancer is allowed to spread and the possibility of death is far greater.
When physicians are dealing with a shortage of staff, long hours, stress and other factors, they may not always make the correct or prompt diagnosis that is needed. Studies show that physicians spend an average of 15 minutes with a patient during a checkup, and this does not leave much time for patients to share their concerns and complaints. In addition to these factors, misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose can happen for a number of other reasons as well. Many patients who are at risk for cancer are not routinely screened, labs can be misread or misinterpreted, and cancerous lesions can be missed in a biopsy.
Some of the most common misdiagnosis lawsuits that are filed involve breast cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer. It may shock you to learn that a recent study by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute showed that 71% of the time, physicians failed to diagnose breast cancer. The physicians who made the most accurate diagnoses were those who had extensive experience, a degree of specialization, and an increased sensitivity towards patients.
When a doctor fails to make a correct diagnosis, patients can quickly begin to experience severe pain and illness, and possibly death. The highest estimated death rates occur in patients who have lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer. If you or someone you love have been the victim of a cancer misdiagnosis, you have the right to seek justice and compensation. Even though nothing can make up for the time that you have lost, it is important to hold medical professionals accountable for their negligence. Misdiagnosis lawsuits can also include cases where a malignant tumor is misdiagnosed as benign or vice versa, or where the aggressiveness of a tumor is misdiagnosed.
When you contact The Tolson Firm, LLC about your situation, you will receive the helpful guidance and caring support that you deserve. Our Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers understand the serious nature of your situation and we will do everything in our power to seek justice for your suffering. We have a proven history of success in handling all types of malpractice cases, and have successfully handled multi-million dollar cases on the behalf of injured patients and their families. Call today to speak with a caring legal professional who will work tirelessly to help you.