Of all the diagnoses that you wouldn’t want to have be delayed, it’s a cancer diagnosis. When a cancer diagnosis is delayed, it can truly mean the difference between being able to receive a life-saving treatment or passing away from the illness.
A delayed diagnosis can happen for various reasons. For example, a patient may visit a primary care physician complaining of problematic symptoms, but when those symptoms overlap with others, then they may need to go through a number of tests to get a diagnosis. If the medical provider doesn’t order them and instead goes with a different diagnosis, the cancer diagnosis may be delayed.
Patients may not be referred on soon enough, or they may have a recurrence of a previous cancer that is not diagnosed accurately. In any of these cases, it is possible that the medical provider could face malpractice complaints, especially if the patient falls ill or passes away as a result of a lack of testing or diagnostic error.
The consequences of a delayed diagnosis may be significant. For instance, if the patient’s initial stage would have been stage I, the delay could allow the cancer time to spread and become Stage II, III or IV. Any of these are going to be harder to treat, and some may not be treatable at all, depending on the specific kind of cancer.
If you lose a loved one due to a delayed diagnosis of cancer or you suffer serious injuries or a terminal illness because of your own delayed diagnosis, you may have a case for compensation. Your attorney can talk to you more about what you can do next.