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Common Failure to Diagnose Cancer Errors

Syracuse Lawyers for Common Failure to Diagnose Cancer Errors

Many types of cancer can be treated if they are caught in a timely way. Appropriate diagnosis often requires a doctor to conduct the process of differential diagnosis and lab testing. Doctors are supposed to take care to consider possible diagnoses and test each potential diagnosis in order to assess the correct one. Common failure to diagnose cancer errors can result in devastating consequences for patients and their families. If you are injured by a diagnostic error made by an oncologist or family physician in connection with your cancer, you should consult the seasoned Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco and Falgiatano. Our lawyers have secured more than $100 million in verdicts. We belong to the prestigious Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum to which fewer than 1% of legal counsel around the country belong. Your doctor’s failure to diagnose your cancer should be evaluated by the best lawyers and medical experts.

Failure to Diagnose

Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis of cancer can be as high as 20%. Cancers that may be misdiagnosed include breast cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, melanoma, prostate cancer, or pancreatic cancer. The type of cancer in question will be considered when determining whether a Syracuse primary care physician, oncologist, lab technician, or nurse failed to meet the professional standard of care and caused harm. For example, there are guidelines in place to screen patients for colorectal cancer starting at age 50; doctors should know about these testing standards and make sure their patients know about them also. Failure to abide by these screening guidelines can result in a progression of the cancer or its spreading across the body.

Common Failure to Diagnose Cancer Errors

When you go to see a doctor with symptoms, you should be diagnosed in a timely manner and receive adequate treatment for the specific diagnosis. Timely medical treatment, whether it is chemotherapy, radiation or another therapy is vital when you’re trying to beat cancer. When doctors miss signs and symptoms or depart from the professional standard of care in their methodology, a delay in cancer diagnosis can result in the spread of cancer. As cancer spreads, it becomes more aggressive, and may be harder to treat effectively. A failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis can be fatal to a patient.

Common reasons for failure to diagnose include:

  • Misinterpretation of lab results
  • Failure to order correct tests based on self-reported symptoms
  • Failure to order a screening test based on a patient's particular characteristics
  • Reporting of false positives
  • Misdiagnosis of a particular type of cancer that results in inappropriate treatment.
We Seek to Establish Liability for Failure to Diagnose

Not all mistakes made by healthcare providers are considered actionable medical malpractice. Our attorneys will need to show that a doctor in the same location and similar specialty under similar circumstances would have timely diagnosed your cancer. We may be able to establish liability for damages when your healthcare provider failed to abide by the professional standard of care in connection with diagnosing your cancer and thereby caused you harm.

The professional standard of care in a failure to diagnose case depends on what other doctors in the same specialty in Syracuse would have done under similar circumstances. For example, a dermatologist could breach the professional standard of care by failing to include a potential melanoma diagnosis on her differential diagnosis list even though another competent dermatologist in Syracuse under would have done so. For another example, failure to diagnose cancer could also be actionable malpractice if your doctor failed to perform adequate tests or conduct appropriate imaging studies or lab work. There are also situations in which errors are made in interpreting imaging or lab work, such that a patient's cancer is not caught.

It's important to be aware that when a patient refuses to have a screening for cancer performed, he or she may bear some comparative negligence for a poor outcome or prognosis. In other words, your damages could be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault when your own refusal to consent or participate in the diagnostic process resulted in delay or misdiagnosis and harm.

Consult Our Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Our firm may be able to represent you if your cancer progressed or spread due to your doctor’s failure to diagnose it. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano has more than thirty years of experience in the courtroom. We may be able to represent you if you were injured by a provider in Watertown, Rochester, Auburn, Oswego, Canandaigua, Lowville, Wampsville, Lyons, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Oneida, Utica, Herkimer, Binghamton, or Elmira. Complete our online form or call us at 315-479-9000.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
★★★★★
"I cannot express in words what an awesome job Charlie Falgiatano and Jean Marie Westlake did in representing my family in my mother's case at trial. There can never be enough thank-yous." D.L., Cortland, NY
★★★★★
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
★★★★★
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
★★★★★
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY