When a patient turns to his or her medical care provider, there is an assumption that the care given will meet a certain standard. This includes getting an accurate diagnosis for illness, something that is necessary in order to receive the right treatment. This is especially important in cases involving a potential cancer diagnosis. If there is a delay in getting the right diagnosis, it can have serious implications for an Oregon patient.
Diagnosing cancer at the earliest opportunity is essential. Some types of cancer spread quickly, and even a delay of a few weeks or months can have a direct impact on the effectiveness of treatment. When a doctor misses signs of a problem, misreads test results or fails to listen to patient concerns, the consequences can be grave.
How do delays in diagnosis happen?
Delays in diagnosing cancer can happen for many reasons, but these reasons are often preventable with proper care and vigilant screening. Some of the factors that could play a role in your delayed cancer diagnosis include:
- Assumption that test results came back as benign
- Failure to properly review test results
- Giving a diagnosis without properly testing or looking at all symptoms
- Using only X-ray tests as a form of diagnostic testing
- Failing to follow-up with a patient after an initial test or visit
Even simple symptoms, such as stomachaches, persistent headaches or weight loss, could all indicate that there is a serious underlying problem, such as cancer. It is critical for a patient to get the right testing done properly, and doctors are responsible for exploring every possibility in order to determine the root of the patient’s medical concerns. Delays in diagnosis may sometimes be the result of a type of medical malpractice.
What is next for a patient?
If you suffered because of a delay in your cancer diagnosis, you have options. It is possible you could have grounds to pursue compensation through a civil claim filed against your medical care provider. An assessment of your case will reveal what options are available to you and how you can seek appropriate damages for what you suffered.
Delays in cancer treatment can take a toll physically and emotionally. Victims and their families suffer a great deal, but they do not have to face these difficult circumstances alone. There is significant benefit in working alongside an experienced attorney at every step.