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Powers & Santola was so knowledgeable and caring. I was so very fortunate to find such a great law firm.
A recent study of missed and delayed medical diagnoses – most of which involved cancer – characterized the current diagnostic process as being too complex and chaotic. Breakdowns in the process can often occur. As a result, the failure to timely diagnose cancer occurs frequently.
At Powers & Santola, LLP, we help individuals and families in New York and across the county to seek compensation they need to deal with the aftermath of a delayed cancer diagnosis. Our law firm features attorneys who have been widely acclaimed for their work in the area of medical malpractice. They can provide a thorough review of your case.
To learn more, please contact us today. We can provide a free consultation.
Does a Delayed or Missed
Cancer Diagnosis Occur?
In the study cited above, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 59 percent of the missed diagnoses were related to illnesses eventually identified as cancer. The most commonly misdiagnosed forms of cancer were:
The researchers found that 59 percent of the medical errors identified led to adverse physical outcomes that were significant or major. Thirty percent led to a patient’s death.
In another study of lung cancer diagnoses, physicians who reviewed cases of delayed diagnosis identified “missed opportunities” for a diagnosis in 37.8 percent of the cases analyzed.
of Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer
The reasons cancer is not always diagnosed in a timely manner include:
Failure to properly read and interpret test results. – Doctors, radiologists and other medical professionals regularly interpret chest X-rays, mammograms, PAP smears, biopsies and similar tests incorrectly. Test results can also be mixed up or mislabeled, resulting in the wrong information appearing in records.
These types of mistakes may be due to:
- Failures in judgment, vigilance or memory
- Lack of training, knowledge or supervision
- Communication lapses when patients are transferred from one care provider to another, known as handoffs
- Patient-related factors such as providing bad or inadequate information and not following up with appointments for testing.
Often, multiple factors are involved in a cancer diagnosis that is not made in a timely manner. The institution itself may be at fault. Protocols followed by the medical center or equipment used may be outdated or inadequate. Supervisors may well know that staff members regularly ignore protocols, but the supervisors may fail to correct the problem.
We Investigate and Pursue Delayed Cancer Diagnosis Cases
By most accounts, the U.S. health care system is not working very well. Costs are staggering. Facilities are understaffed. Physicians and other providers are constantly being asked to do more with less. Patients often receive just a few minutes of their doctor’s time — if they ever actually see a doctor at all.
For these reasons and others, incidents of delayed cancer diagnosis are far more frequent than they should be. None of these factors is excusable.
The attorneys of Powers & Santola, LLP, can help if you believe you or a loved one has been harmed because a cancer diagnosis was not promptly made by your medical care providers. We will help you gather your medical records and have them reviewed by medical professionals we regularly consult. Where we find indications of preventable errors, we will move forward aggressively on your behalf.
To speak with one of our attorneys about a potential delayed diagnosis of cancer, call us today or reach us online.
Sources / More Information
- Cancer Facts & Figures 2015, American Cancer Society
- Missed and Delayed Diagnoses in the Ambulatory Setting: A Study of Closed Malpractice Claims, Annals of Internal Medicine
- Characteristics and Predictors of Missed Opportunities in Lung Cancer Diagnosis: An Electronic Health Record–Based Study, Journal of Clinical Oncology