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Chicago, Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Failure to Diagnose Cancer Has Many Consequences

A common form of medical malpractice occurs when a provider carelessly or negligently fails to identify medical conditions or properly treat a patient in his or her care. While a health care provider’s liability under medical malpractice law does vary from state to state; all states recognize “failure to diagnose” as an actionable offense under certain circumstances.

According to 24-7 press release, the term failure to diagnose does encompass a wide variety of medical negligent practices. These include misdiagnosis, failure to provide appropriate treatment, unreasonable delay in treating and explicit failure to diagnose a medical injury. It is important for providers to diagnose cancer as early as possible, for a delay in treatment may greatly affect the patient’s prognosis. When cancer goes untreated it requires more aggressive and invasive forms of treatment. When this happens, health care providers may become liable for these medical expenses.

One recent medical error study shows that twelve percent of cancer cases are misdiagnosed as a result of reader error and poor sampling techniques. Certain cancers are more likely to be misdiagnosed than the others. Lung cancer is oftentimes diagnosed as bronchitis or tuberculosis. Colon cancer can be diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome. This type of cancer is easily diagnosed with a routine colonoscopy. Cervical cancers can easily be detected by yearly pap smears. However, if a physician misinterprets the results of the exam the cancer can go into advance stages causing infertility. If you have had misdiagnosed cancer, please consult a Chicago medical malpractice attorney. To learn more about cancer misdiagnosis, please click the link.