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Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyers in Albany, New York

Diagram of the lungs

To improve a patient’s chances of survival, it is crucial for doctors to diagnose lung cancer at the earliest possible stage. Unfortunately, too many patients are diagnosed with this disease after they have already progressed to a dangerous stage. If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered harm due to a delayed diagnosis of lung cancer, you owe it to yourself to have your case reviewed by a lawyer with extensive experience with handling these types of cases.

At Powers & Santola, LLP, we are committed to devoting the full extent of our talent and resources to a select number of cases in Albany, Rochester, Syracuse, and throughout Upstate and Western New York. Our goal is to give each case the close dedication and careful handling that it deserves. We are genuinely committed to changing our clients’ lives for the better. To discuss how we can assist you in a free initial consultation, simply call us today or contact us through our online form. We are here to help you find the answers to your questions.

What Is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is the second-most common cancer in both men and women (not counting skin cancer). It accounts for about 13 percent of all new cancers in the U.S., the American Cancer Society reports. About 224,000 new cases of lung cancer annually are expected in the U.S., and an estimated 159,000 individuals in the country will die from lung cancer each year. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined. There are many types of lung cancer, including:

The general prognosis for lung cancer is poor compared to other types of cancers. The overall five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 17 percent. compared to 99 percent for prostate cancer, 90 percent for breast cancer and 81 percent for bladder cancer. The survival rate for lung cancer is low because the disease is often not diagnosed until it is in an advanced stage. The five-year survival rate is 40 to 50 percent for early stage lung cancer, but only 1 to 5 percent for advanced, inoperable lung cancer.

Risk Factors for Lung Cancer

Risk factors for lung cancer include:

Other leading risk factors for lung cancer include exposure to asbestos fibers, exposure to carcinogens in the workplace (chemicals or minerals), air pollution and radiation therapy to lungs for other cancers. Unfortunately, up to 25 percent of lung cancers exhibit no symptoms. Nonetheless, a physician may suspect lung cancer on a routine physical examination if you have one or more of the following symptoms:

Lung cancer may be detected on a routine chest X-ray or CT scan undertaken for another purpose. If a large airway is obstructed because of lung cancer, the lung could partially collapse and may be afflicted with pneumonia or abscesses. If lung cancer has invaded nerves, it may cause shoulder pain that travels down the outside of an arm or causes paralysis of vocal cords leading to hoarseness. Some lung cancers produce abnormally high blood levels of certain hormones or substances such as calcium. A doctor should consider the possibility of lung cancer if an individual shows such evidence and no other cause is apparent. Once lung cancer begins to cause symptoms, it is usually visible on an X-ray. A CT scan may be ordered if an X-ray doesn’t show any abnormalities or does not yield sufficient information about the extent or locations of a tumor or tumors. Various tests can confirm the presence of lung cancer, such as a lung biopsy, bronchoscopy, or examination of mucus or lung fluid. Once lung cancer is confirmed, other tests determine the type of cancer and how far it has spread. These tests determine the course of treatments for a lung cancer patient.

Early Diagnosis of Lung Cancer is Crucial for Survival

More than half of people with lung cancer die within one year of being diagnosed, the American Lung Association says.

Survival depends on how early a person’s lung cancer is diagnosed. If the disease is found while it is still localized within the lungs, the five-year survival rate is 54 percent. However, if the cancer has spread to other organs, the five-year survival rate is only 4 percent. A person found to have lung cancer may receive one or more kinds of treatment:

How Is Lung Cancer Diagnosed?

Unfortunately, lung cancer usually does not cause symptoms in the early stages of the disease. The first likely symptom of lung cancer is a cough that cannot be linked to another problem and that does not go away or gets steadily worse.

Additionally, a person with lung cancer may experience:

Other symptoms of lung cancer are not connected to respiration, which means the cancer has spread beyond the lungs. They may include:

If you notice any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away. If you think you are at risk for developing lung cancer, talk to your doctor about being screened.

Missed or Delayed Diagnosis of Lung Cancer

A missed or delayed diagnosis of lung cancer is especially critical since the survival rates for lung cancer are substantially higher if detected in the earliest stages. Medical professionals can fail to make an early diagnosis of lung cancer for several reasons, such as:

Non-small cell lung cancer in its earliest stages can be treated by surgical removal of a tumor. Small cell lung cancer is less likely to be localized to one area that can be removed by surgery. Radiation or chemotherapy is typically used to treat small cell lung cancer.

Our Delayed Lung Cancer Diagnosis Attorneys Can Help You

Powers & Santola, LLP, has extensive experience handling delayed diagnosis legal cases, including those involving lung cancer. Our goal is to serve you with our combination of knowledge, talent and dedication to fundamentally changing the lives of our clients and their families for the better. To discuss how we can assist you, contact us today by phone at 518.465.5995 or through our online for or chat.