How to Respond to a Doctor's Failure to Diagnose Cancer
Attorney Gary Zucker represents clients in medical malpractice cases where a failure to diagnose cancer has substantially affected their chances of recovery. While cancer is a dangerous disease, there are many types which are easily curable if caught in early stages. A doctor's failure to accurately read a mammogram, thoroughly remove abnormal growth during a colonoscopy, or follow up on results can delay treatment and allow cancer to progress to more dangerous stages.View transcript
We've handled many cases in our office involving failure to diagnose various types of cancers. A cancer occurs when there is an abnormal growth, when cells just start to grow and multiply. And these cells can invade and destroy various vital organs. And in many cancers, they can spread throughout the body to other parts of the body and start destroying remote organs as well. In many cancers, there are cures available and successful treatments available if diagnosed in its early stages. One of the most common types of cancer cases that we have is the failure to diagnose breast cancer. Oftentimes, this involves failure to properly interpret or read a mammogram, failing to follow-up on certain findings on a mammogram that are suspicious for cancer. And breast cancer is one of the most curable cancers if treated in its early stages. Another cancer that we typically come across is colon cancer. We have developed, over the years, ways of detecting colon cancer early on and it's one of the most curable cancers if detected early on. It's one of the most deadly cancers when not detected early. And through the use of colonoscopy, doctors are now able to see into the colon and, if done thoroughly and properly, are able to identify early stage colon cancers and treat them successfully. Patients go on to live normal and complete lives. Another type of cancer that comes to mind is melanoma. Again, it's a cancer that appears on the skin, usually. If it's spotted early and treated early, it's very successfully treated with a high percentage of cure rate. If caught late, it can be a very deadly cancer. We frequently run across cases where there was a delay in diagnosing cancer and, ultimately, by the time it was diagnosed, it was too late to successfully treat and these are very tragic cases dealing with the death of an individual who if diagnosed earlier, if the signs and symptoms had been recognized earlier, could have been cured and could have survived.