Liver cancer kills people in New York every year. Because it initially shows no symptoms, it is often misdiagnosed in its earlier stages when it is most easily treated. When a doctor fails to diagnose liver cancer, a victim may be able to hold the doctor liable by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
In some cases, people who have liver cancer will show symptoms that are similar to other conditions, including influenza, cirrhosis, gastritis, gastroenteritis and others. Doctors sometimes diagnose patients with one of these other conditions and fail to test for liver cancer. Liver cancer may also be caused by a metastasis of another cancer, including pancreatic cancer or breast cancer. If a doctor misdiagnoses one of those cancers, the doctor may also miss the liver cancer that later results.
The American Cancer Society reports that 14,270 people died from liver cancer in 2004. When it is not caught early, only 6 percent of people who have it survive more than five years. The average reported number of years of life lost is 16 years for people who have liver cancer and who die from it.
A delayed diagnosis of liver cancer may result in a victim’s disease advancing to a stage in which it is no longer treatable. When people die of liver cancer because their doctors failed to catch it in time, their families might want to consult with medical malpractice lawyers who may analyze the medical records in order to make initial determinations about whether diagnostic failures occurred. If the attorneys agree to accept the cases, they may file lawsuits and try to secure reasonable settlements that fairly compensate their clients for their losses.