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Stomach Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyers in Albany, NY

CGI of a stomach cancer

Stomach cancer is the growth of cancerous cells in the stomach. It is also known as “gastric cancer.”

The earlier stomach cancer is caught, the better chance a person has of surviving. A person diagnosed with localized stomach cancer, in which the cancer is contained in a single primary site, faces a five-year survival rate of 64.1 percent. Survival chances drop to 28.8 percent once the stomach cancer spreads to the lymph nodes (regional cancer) and to 4.2 percent for distant (metastasized) cancer.

Unfortunately, a person’s delayed diagnosis of stomach cancer may be due to the negligence of a medical professional. If you suspect this has occurred to you or a loved one, you should take action right away to protect your rights.

Contact Powers & Santola, LLP. Our law firm can provide a free review of your case and help you to take steps to seek just compensation for your losses.

What Is Stomach Cancer?

The wall of the stomach is made up of three layers of tissue:

Gastric cancer usually begins in the cells lining the mucosa layer and spreads through the outer layers as it grows. Cancer that has spread from the mucosa into deeper layers is more advanced, and a patient’s prognosis is not as good.

Stomach cancer can be classified as:

About 22,220 new cases of stomach cancer are diagnosed each year, making stomach cancer account for 1.3 percent of all cancers. About 28.3 percent of stomach cancer patients survive for five years or more.

How is Stomach Cancer Diagnosed?

Stomach cancer is most often found after a patient reports symptoms to his or her doctor. At the early stage, this may include:

In more advanced stages of gastric cancer, the following symptoms may occur:

After hearing about these symptoms, a doctor may refer the patient to a gastroenterologist. This is a doctor who specializes in diseases of the digestive tract. This physician will conduct an exam and may order such diagnostic tests as:

Why Does Missed or Delayed Diagnosis of Stomach Cancer Occur?

In many cases, when stomach cancer is misdiagnosed, the error occurs because of miscommunication. Radiologists sometimes report results of tests incorrectly, or the physician reads them incorrectly. This could be caused by something such as a stray mark on a form or poor handwriting.

In some cases, biopsy samples, X-rays or MRI or CAT scan results become labeled incorrectly. They may be mixed up with the wrong patient’s name. If a report or lab sample becomes lost or corrupted, this will cause a need for the test or biopsy to be repeated and a delay in diagnosis.

In busy hospitals, the examining physician or physician’s assistant may fail to obtain a proper patient history or to ask about symptoms that, if known, would indicate the need for certain diagnostic tests. Sometimes, doctors under pressure to move patients quickly may cut corners by not ordering tests. The medical center’s policies and procedures may lead to these errors.

On rare occasions, a delayed or missed diagnosis is simply caused by a physician’s incompetence. A doctor may not have training that would enable him to diagnose stomach cancer. A doctor might also be negligent because of personal issues such as a substance abuse problem or emotional or psychological issues.

What Are the Consequences of a Missed or Delayed Diagnosis of Stomach Cancer?

When a diagnosis of stomach cancer is delayed, it can result in a patient having to undergo more painful, costly and – perhaps – fruitless treatments.

Stomach cancer is treated most often with surgery to remove malignant tumors and some surrounding tissue. According to how much the cancer has spread, more of the stomach must be removed. At some point, there is too much affected tissue for surgery to be viable.

Additional treatment options include radiation and chemotherapy, which are used to kill cancer cells. Radiation may be used after surgery to destroy cancer cells that could not be seen or removed during surgery. In cases where stomach cancer has spread, chemotherapy combined with radiation therapy may increase the chances of survival and reduce the risk of cancer returning.

Radiation and chemotherapy are harsh treatments that, even when ultimately successful, can have deleterious side effects on the patient. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may even increase a person’s risk of developing different types of cancer later in life.

Get Help from a Delayed Stomach Cancer Diagnosis Attorney

Powers & Santola, LLP, can assist if you or a loved one has been harmed by what you believe was a delayed or missed diagnosis of stomach cancer. Our New York attorneys may be able to help you obtain compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering and more if medical providers in your case were negligent.

For a free and confidential consultation about your case and your legal options, contact us today by phone or through our online form.

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