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OL malpractice lawyerAlmost every life has been touched by cancer in some way. Breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, lymphoma, and other types of cancer kill hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. Fortunately, advances in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer have reduced the number of people who die from the disease. The American Cancer Institute estimates that there will be 22.2 million cancer survivors by the year 2030. However, a cancer sufferer cannot start potentially life-saving treatment until he or she receives a diagnosis. When a medical professional fails to diagnose cancer, the victim or the victim’s surviving loved ones may bring a medical malpractice claim against the negligent medical professional.

When is a Medical Professional Considered Negligent?

Failure to diagnose cancer can lead to unnecessary suffering, massive medical debt, and even an avoidable patient death. If a doctor or other medical professional fails to diagnose cancer, this may be an example of medical negligence. The cancer sufferer or the surviving loved ones may bring a medical malpractice claim against the medical professional.

Medical malpractice occurs when:

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Waukegan medical malpractice attorneysThroughout the last several decades, there have been remarkable advancements in the field of cancer treatment. Increasingly, doctors and other medical professionals are able to detect cancer early enough for treatments to be successful. The sooner a person can receive a cancer diagnosis, the sooner they can begin an aggressive treatment plan that slows the spread of the disease and, ideally, eradicates cancerous cells. 

Doctors and other healthcare staff have an ethical and legal obligation to provide reasonably competent medical care. This includes providing patients with timely and accurate diagnoses. In some cases, a doctor’s failure to diagnose cancer can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Medical Mistakes That Can Lead to Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer

When a doctor, radiologist, oncologist, or other medical professional fails to diagnose cancer in a reasonably timely manner, the patient may miss the opportunity to start cancer treatment before the disease has significantly progressed. Sadly, there are some situations in which failure to diagnose cancer can even lead to a patient’s death. There are many different mistakes that can lead to a doctor failing to diagnose cancer including:

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Chicago misdiagnosis injury lawyerDespite the fact that the vast majority of Americans envision medical malpractice as surgical error or overt negligence on the part of medical staff, a large portion of medical malpractice injuries come in the form of misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis, or delayed diagnosis, can be incredibly problematic for those dealing with medical conditions. 

Both delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis can lead to a delay in proper treatment for the patient, with misdiagnosis presenting the possibility of no treatment at all. These forms of medical malpractice can lead to increased medical bills, loss of income due to missed work, worsening conditions, and even death. If you or a loved one have been harmed by a medical professional’s improper diagnosis of an illness, you should be sure to work with an attorney to determine your options for pursuing compensation. 

Medical Error and Misdiagnosis Nationwide

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