As readers of our Eugene medical malpractice blog are aware, an early cancer diagnosis is key for successful treatment and cancer remission. Failure to diagnose cancer can result in the spread of the disease, and a patient may suffer from a deteriorated condition. This can cause a patient to endure additional pain and suffering, and may be deadly.
A recent study of gastric cancer patients shows the importance of early diagnosis. The study found gastric cancer patients diagnosed before they reached 40-years-old died from the disease significantly sooner than older patients. Younger patients were also diagnosed with more aggressive forms of the cancer when compared with older patients. It has been suggested that doctors may fail to suspect gastric cancer among the younger population. This could explain cancer going undiagnosed in younger patients until it has reached a more advanced stage.
Despite the reasons, the failure of medical professionals to promptly diagnose deadly diseases such as gastric cancer is unacceptable. Oregon's legal system provides a way in which to hold negligent physicians and other medical staff accountable for their mistakes. A medical malpractice claim can provide a means of recovery for victims, and ensures health professionals are held accountable for their negligence.
In the most serious of cases, the failure to diagnose cancer may result in the death of the patient. Under certain circumstances, this may give rise to a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim is filed by the victim's surviving family members on behalf of his or her estate. There are time limitations on filing both medical malpractice and wrongful death claims, so it's important to understand your rights as soon as possible.
Source: The Oncology Report, "Survival shorter in young gastric cancer patients," Sherry Boschert, Feb. 14, 2013.