Cummings Law, PL gives an overview of your options when your cancer is misdiagnosed.

When Cancer Is Misdiagnosed: What Are Your Options?

Diagnostic errors are common reasons for medical malpractice claims. Delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, and failure to diagnose cancer can result in life-threatening consequences for the patient. A cancer misdiagnosis is a serious form of medical negligence and medical error. If you believe your physician mishandled your diagnosis, contact a Hawaii cancer misdiagnosis attorney to discuss your legal options.  An attorney can help hold the physician and other parties liable for your injuries, damages, and losses.

How Do Physicians Misdiagnose Cancer?

Early detection of cancer is often the crucial factor in whether cancer treatments are successful. The earlier the cancer is found, the better chance a patient has at surviving. 

You would expect that with the prevalence of cancer cases in the United States, physicians would pay close attention to any signs or symptoms of cancer in their patients. Unfortunately, doctors may not listen closely enough to a patient as they describe their symptoms and fails to order the diagnostic tests that would reveal cancer. A doctor may fail to refer a patient for a second opinion or refer the patient to a specialist. Therefore, some cases of cancer misdiagnosis result from negligence.

Errors with screening tools can result in misdiagnosis of cancer. Like, for instance, a machine can malfunction when taking or reading test samples. Untrained or unqualified medical staff who do not understand how to use screening technology could also be the reason for the misdiagnosis. A mistake in analyzing the results from diagnostic tests can lead to an incorrect diagnosis.

Failing to identify and diagnose cancer correctly can result in a variety of injuries and unnecessary treatments for the patient. As a result, patients incur additional medical expenses, loss of income, permanent impairments, physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional trauma. And in many cases, families lose their loved ones too soon because of a misdiagnosis. 

What Can You Do About a Misdiagnosis?

If you sustain injuries or damages because of medical negligence or medical errors, you may be entitled to compensation under Hawaii’s medical malpractice laws. To prove medical malpractice, your attorney must prove each of the elements of medical malpractice:

  • You established a doctor-patient relationship with the health care provider so that the doctor owed you a standard of care;
  • That the doctor breached the duty of care by misdiagnosing your cancer;
  • The doctor’s conduct was a breach in the standard of care provided by similarly trained and educated doctors within the same field;
  • You sustained injuries because of the misdiagnosis; and,
  • Because of the injuries, you sustained losses and damages.

Proving the elements of medical malpractice requires medical experts to examine the evidence and offer opinions and testimony to support the allegations of malpractice. Working with medical experts, gathering evidence, and developing a strong case can be complicated. It is best to work with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in your area.

Contact a Hawaii Medical Malpractice Attorney Now

Do not wait to contact a Hawaii medical malpractice attorney if you suspect your doctor misdiagnosed your cancer. Hawaii’s statute of limitations restricts your time to file a medical malpractice claim. Failing to file a medical malpractice lawsuit before the deadline could result in the doctor getting away with medical negligence or medical errors. Contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Cummings Law today. You will be glad you did.