No diagnosis is as a traumatizing these days as cancer. The condition remains one of the world’s largest killers, and even those who survive are often forced to endure countless hours of stress, worry, intrusive medical conditions, serious side effects, and more. All of that is not to count the suffering that their loved ones endure, forced to wait and worrry without much ability to help matters on their own. There is no getting around around the fact that a cancer diagnosis is a terrible experience that no one ever wants to go through.
We’ve frequently reported on one of the common ways that medical malpractice is implicated in these matters: a delayed diagnosis. While no one wants to be diagnosed with cancer, if cancer does exist, all of us want to learn about it as soon as possible. That is because the treatment for the invasive condition often hinges on timing. The more that the cancer is able to progress without treatment, the harder it often is for doctors to find a full cure. Lives literally hang in the balance when it comes to proper cancer diagnoses. Sadly, time and again some medical providers miss signs of the cancer in test results or fail to properly order tests in response to symptoms which might suggest cancer. When this happens, it is critical for those invovled to get in touch with legal professionals to ensure the delayed diagnosis is accounted for. Accountability matters in these situations to improve care for patients down the road.
But what about when the opposite mistake occurs: when cancer is diagnosed even though it doesn’t exist?
Surprisingly, this happens more than one might think. For example, a case out of the UK is illustrative of the scope sometimes present in these situations. All too often the misdiagnosis is not an honest mistake, but an error made specifically because of financial incentives of the medical providers.
According to the report on the case in the Third Age, the medical professional in this latest situation may be charged with misdiagnosing a staggering 450 patients with breast cancer. They didn’t have it, but he said they did. Trusting their doctor, the patients then underwent completely unnecessary surgery. Apparently, at least 100 women have already complained to officials regarding the mistakes, but the number of affected patients may reach far higher.
It is easy to see how many of the women hurt by this form of malpractice may never learn of the situation. That is because, we all trust our medical professionals to be completely honest about our situation and act prudently in our best interests. When cancer is diagnosed and surgery recommend, how is a patient to ever know that the surgery was not needed in the first place? In fact, it is this difficulty in second-guessing doctors that may led some unscrupulous physicians to risk the false diagnosis. Sadly, there remains a strong financial incentive for various professionals, including surgeons, to call for as many operations as necessary. The more surgeries that are performed the more money the medical professional makes. While most doctors wouldn’t dream of hurting patients in this way for financial gain, it only takes a few outliers to cause serious problems to hundreds of unsuspecting patients.
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