Chicago Medical Misdiagnosis Lawyers
Representing the Victims of Medical Negligence
Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with late-stage cancer? in many cases. In many cases, the tragic truth is that your cancer could have or should have been detected earlier. You may have even told your doctor about worrying symptoms but were ignored, resulting in a delayed diagnosis. As a result, the type of cancer you have transformed from easily treatable, localized cancer into a more dangerous metastasized cancer. Treatment may now be brutal or impossible because your medical condition has worsened without a correct diagnosis.
If you or a loved one is facing difficult or terminal cancer as a result of medical malpractice through doctor error, you deserve compensation. The Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Walner Law® stand ready to help you fight for the compensation you deserve by pursuing a lawsuit for these diagnostic errors.
Please call (312) 410-8496 or reach out for a free initial consultation and to learn more about how you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The Importance of Early Diagnosis
When it’s localized, cancer is more easily treatable and people tend to have higher survival rates. If cancer is diagnosed later, it’s more likely to have metastasized (spread), making treatment more difficult. Follow-up X-rays may be replaced with aggressive radiation therapy and vitamin supplements may be replaced with exhausting chemotherapy. This means missed work, more bills, and a lower quality of life for the duration of treatment and long after.
Your prognosis may be dire so it’s crucial that doctors give you a diagnosis early. If breast cancer is detected while the cancer is localized, the five-year survival rate is 98%. If detected late, the survival rate is only 23%. For early detection of colorectal cancer, the survival rate is 91% but for late-stage cancer, the survival rate drops to 11%.
Because the importance of detecting cancer early is well-known, there are established methods for cancer screening. For example, women are encouraged to undergo pap smears every two or three years, depending on age and other factors, to detect the presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes cervical cancer. Women over age 50 should begin getting mammograms every two years unless they have a family history of early breast cancer. Men and women should undergo regular screening for colon cancer, such as flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, or CT colonography (also called virtual colonoscopy).
Unfortunately, cancer still goes undiagnosed, sometimes due to doctor or other healthcare provider errors, including:
- Failure to administer appropriate tests
- Improper test procedure
- Lab mistakes
- Misreading test results
- Not acting on test results
- Not reporting test results
If a doctor does not perform a recommended test, or if they ignore a suspicious test result rather than referring you to a specialist or giving additional tests to confirm the presence or absence of cancer, they may have committed a medical error that gives you adequate grounds for a medical negligence case.
Doctors Ignoring Patients
Sometimes you just know something is wrong, after all, you know your body better than anyone. You report troubling symptoms, like a painful cough that won’t go away, dramatic changes in bowel or bladder habits, a breast lump, or rectal bleeding, but your doctor dismisses or ignores them. Your doctor may not perform appropriate tests to follow up on the possibility of cancer. Your doctor may not call you back with test results, may not be able to find time to fit you in for another appointment, and may even stop answering your calls or making appointments. If your doctor’s negligence has led to a delayed diagnosis of cancer, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim.
Cancer Misdiagnosis in Chicago
The Chicago cancer misdiagnosis lawyers at Walner Law have seen a variety of medical malpractice cases, some more egregious than others. The most disturbing medical mistake is the one that could have been avoided with a little extra time, care, and attention. Failing to diagnose cancer, for whatever reason, is a common type of medical malpractice in the Chicago medical community.
While we fully understand the rigorous schedules doctors are forced to keep, and we respect such an applaudable profession, we must hold those accountable who cause harm to others. By misdiagnosing cancer, you are shortening someone’s life.
Some of the most oft-misdiagnosed cancers are:
- Brain cancer
- Lung cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Bladder cancer
Cancer misdiagnosis can be attributed to:
- A non-cancerous (or benign) tumor is identified as malignant (cancerous)
- A cancerous lesion is missed in the biopsy procedure
- A malignant mass is diagnosed as benign
- Failure to refer a patient to a specialist for further testing
- A malignant tumor is misclassified as to the type or misgraded as to aggressiveness
- Specimens are mishandled by pathology, or improperly read or interpreted
- Failure to follow up with a patient if cancer should have been suspected
- Failure to adequately screen for increased risk patients
- Failure to understand or notice the nature of a patient’s complaints
If you have suffered medical malpractice in the Chicago area, please contact our Chicago cancer misdiagnosis lawyers today to schedule a no-cost, confidential consultation.
How Does Failure to Diagnose Impact Patients?
Diagnostic mistakes aren’t just inconvenient. This form of negligence, whether it be a late diagnosis or a misdiagnosis of cancer, can greatly impact one’s treatment plan and potentially lead to wrongful death. Detecting cancer in its early stages is critical to proper care. Unfortunately, not all doctors may catch it in a timely manner, either failing to see the warning signs, employing the wrong diagnostic tests, or believing that the signs of cancer aren’t actually cancer at all. How does a delayed cancer diagnosis impact you?
- Decreased Chance of Survival: When a proper diagnosis is given as soon as risk factors or symptoms are identified, proper treatment may help patients navigate their way out of cancer. However, as time goes on and cancer is allowed to spread, the chances of survival decrease. A doctor’s inability to properly diagnose you or incompetence can result in cancer cases like yours worsening with time and greatly impacting your lifespan.
- Increased Health Problems: Quality of life is another area that’s impacted by medical malpractice. During the initial stages of your cancer, your symptoms will be less severe, and treatment will be too. Once cancer spreads, however, you can face numerous symptoms that make life unbearable, whether that’s shortness of breath, difficulty eating or swallowing, or other issues related to your specific type of cancer.
- Aggressive Treatment and Side Effects: The later your cancer is treated, the more aggressive the treatment needs to be in order to treat cancer. This may not only lead to a longer treatment time but can greatly increase your medical expenses and lead to a wide range of undesirable side effects stemming from the medical help you need.
- Emotional Distress for Both Patients and Family Members: Receiving a cancer diagnosis is traumatic in and of itself. But knowing that you didn’t receive timely treatment and could potentially get worse or die due to a missed diagnosis can be extremely distressing. This is true not only for you but for your family as well.
Why Choose Walner Law®?
The medical malpractice lawyers at Walner Law® have extensive experience in handling medical malpractice cases of all types, including late diagnosis of cancer. When we handle your misdiagnosis case, we offer a personal touch. Unlike your doctor, we keep you constantly informed of the progress of your case and work diligently to do a great job. We are never out of touch, always checking our messages and responding to your concerns.
Our representation doesn’t end with a check. Once you get your settlement or verdict, we can help you make the most of that money, with a financial advisor, annuities, or trusts for minors that can help ensure your family is taken care of, even if you can’t be there to take care of them yourself.
Your initial call to Walner Law® is always FREE, and we work on a contingency basis. You pay no fees unless we win your case.