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When radiology errors result in failure to diagnose cancer

When we go to the doctor, we expect the highest level of care using the most advanced equipment available. But when there are errors in the use of machines or the reading of the results of examinations, serious problems can arise. Sometimes, if a radiologist makes a mistake, cancer can go undetected until it’s too late.

How common are radiology errors?

Studies have shown that the rate of radiology error in modern hospitals is still 10 to 15 percent. Shockingly, that number hasn’t improved since 1960. That means that, in more than one in ten radiological evaluations, the radiologist commits some sort of error.

Sometimes those errors can be inconsequential. But sometimes, a radiologist can fail to recognize signs of cancer, and the patient misses out on the chance to nip it in the bud before it becomes much worse. These types of mistakes are often deadly.

How do radiology errors occur?

The most obvious type of error is when the radiologist does everything correctly, but the machines malfunction or another technical error outside of their control occurs.

Sometimes, though, the radiologist will look at the results of your examination and will fail to notice something that the average radiologist in their position would have caught. This is what’s known as a breach of the standard of care for their profession.

In other words, a radiologist – like any medical professional – has a duty to do their job as competently as any other radiologist would in their situation. If they failed to notice signs of cancer in you that most other radiologists would have seen, and your cancer gets worse than it would have as a result, then you might have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Cancer is a very nasty disease, and some forms of it can advance quickly if not caught and treated in time. Although there’s nothing that can truly compensate a victim of cancer for their suffering, a medical malpractice lawsuit could help you to receive the resources you need to deal with your condition in the best way possible.