Being diagnosed with cancer can be the scariest thing to happen in your lifetime. Depending on the type of cancer and its development, it can affect your enjoyment of life and even the length of it. As tragic and overwhelming as that may be, far too many people end up confronting this sad reality after a doctor either failed to diagnose them with cancer or gave them the wrong diagnosis. In these instances, legal action is probably warranted to find accountability and recover compensation for the enormous damages, both economic and noneconomic in nature, that have been caused.
Errors in testing and interpretation
Many diagnostic errors occur because the right tests were not ordered, or the results of those tests were misinterpreted. Let’s take breast cancer as an example. There are multiple ways to test for this disease. Amongst them a normal physical breast exam and a mammogram, which is an X-ray that is used to detect abnormalities in breast tissue. A patients first mammogram is usually a screening mammogram which is often read in mass along with many other patient’s mammogram by a radiologist who the patient never sees. The physician that ordered the mammogram usually relies on the radiologist’s interpretation. Often the ordering physician does not speak to the radiologist and may not even know the radiologist.
Testing for breast cancer does not always end there. Depending on various factors, a doctor can also recommend an ultrasound that seeks to produce effective images of abnormalities that are deep within the breast tissue, and an MRI which uses magnet and radio waves to further develop images of suspicious lumps. If needed a biopsy can be performed where a piece of tissue is removed and examined in a laboratory to determine if any cancer is present.
While this testing might seem straightforward, doctors might misdiagnose breast cancer as nothing more than a cyst or some other harmless abnormality. They may not even order additional testing because they are so certain in their wrong opinion. This is unacceptable, and these errant medical professionals need to be held to account.
Fight for outcome you deserve
If you’ve been subjected to medical malpractice, then you should consider doing everything you can to achieve the outcome you deserve. In addition to seeking a second medical opinion, you should consider taking legal action. While a legal action may not be your first concern, it should be considered earlier rather than later. While the legal process can be a long, drawn out, and oftentimes complex process, do not let that frighten you. Instead, think about seeking out help from an experienced legal professional who knows how to advocate for those harmed by medical errors and can assist you through the physically and emotional process.