Although cancer continues to threaten people’s lives in Oregon, the American Cancer Society has released a report that shows that deaths from cancer have declined by 25 percent nationwide since 1991. Changes in medical procedures and lifestyle have contributed to this improvement.
In prior years, the prostate cancer rate in men had been inflated by the use of the PSA blood test. Physicians have reduced their application of this test because it too often indicated disease when no treatment was necessary. As for colorectal cancers that afflict both men and women, colonoscopies that enable the removal of precancerous polyps have now reduced deaths from that type of cancer. Occurrences of lung cancer have decreased due to fewer people smoking tobacco cigarettes.
Despite this progress, these forms of cancer still retain their deadly potential. The American Cancer Society predicted that prostate, colorectal and lung cancers would account for 42 percent of new cancer diagnoses for men in 2017. Among women, the society expects breast, lung and colorectal cancers to claim the lives of about 50 percent of female cancer patients for the same year.
In some cases, an accurate and timely diagnosis of cancer could allow a person to receive effective treatments. When a person suffers negative health consequences due to not being diagnosed in a timely manner, an investigation into the possibility of medical malpractice could be an important step. An attorney who represents such victims could ask an outside physician to evaluate the medical records. Testimony from an expert stating that the person received substandard care could be used in a lawsuit. Armed with this information, a lawyer could approach the health care provider and request a settlement. When necessary, an attorney can take the case to trial to seek compensation for the patient’s losses that have been incurred.