What will the Attorney Evaluate?
If you feel that your condition has worsened and you have suffered injury and harm because your doctor failed to diagnose cancer in a timely manner, then you could file a medical malpractice case to claim compensation. When you approach a personal injury attorney, he will most likely consider the following factors about your case:
- When did your doctor diagnose you with cancer?
- When did you last have any diagnostic imaging tests such as x-ray, CAT scan, or MRI?
- What were your complaints when you first visited your doctor and when was this visit?
- Was there any blood work done?
All these aspects are important because the attorney must now put all the pieces of the puzzle together to find out a number of things. Mainly he needs to find out if there was an evidence of the problem that the doctor failed to notice. He needs to know if the imaging tests and the studies that were performed were improperly read. Your lawyer also needs to know the type of cancer you are suffering from.
Is it a fast growing or slow growing tumor? What stage is the cancer at now? Is it Stage 2 where it can be treatable or operable? Is it Stage 4, where it has metastasized and spread to the rest of the body? What is your prognosis, or the likelihood of you getting better? What type of treatment are your receiving? Are you getting radiation or chemotherapy? Do you have to undergo a surgery for treating it?
The Main Question
The main question your attorney needs answered while evaluating a failure to diagnose cancer case is if the condition had been detected when there was evidence of it a year ago or maybe earlier, what stage the cancer would have been at that time. Additionally, what treatment would you have been eligible for and would have received if the cancer had been detected a year or two earlier.
If you suspect that you or your loved one is a victim of failure to diagnose cancer, the best person to speak to would be your treating oncologist, who is a doctor who treats conditions involving cancer. There are various ways of treating cancer including radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and palliative therapy. Palliative therapy is given to make you feel better, even though it does not treat the cancer. The questions that you should be asking your oncologist are:
- If my cancer was treated earlier would it have made a difference in the outcome?
- Would my treatment be any different if my cancer was detected earlier?
Obviously, for any type of cancer, the sooner it is recognized and treated increases your chances of surviving this stressful episode in your life. Therefore, you also need to ask the oncologist what would have been your chances of survival if there were no failure to diagnose cancer in a timely manner.