A 33-year-old mother of four minor children died from cervical cancer in July, 2012 after her doctors and other medical providers in England failed on 30 occasions to diagnose her cervical cancer. The woman’s ordeal began in 2010 when pre-cancerous cells were removed from her cervix. In January, 2012, she was experiencing pain for which she consulted her doctor. Her doctor ordered a routine scan that showed a 2 inch mass in her pelvis. Surgery to remove the mass resulted in the surgeon’s failure to find the mass and the surgeon declaring that it must have been a cyst that resolved itself. The woman was relieved when she was told that she was cancer-free.
Despite the good news that she did not have cancer, the woman continued to have extreme pain. She was referred back to her primary care physician who ordered physical therapy in light of the hospital’s diagnosis that the woman was having nerve pain and back pain. However, due to her unexplained falls over the next several days, she returned to another hospital where she was diagnosed as having a possible torn ligament. Her pain was so severe that she described her pain “like someone was stamping on her between her legs.”
The woman’s primary care physician later admitted her into another hospital where she was quickly diagnosed as having cancer. She died three months later from cervical cancer and sarcoma. The woman’s family has hired medical malpractice lawyers to bring the appropriate claims against two of the hospitals for their numerous failures to properly and timely diagnose her cervical cancer that claimed her life and left her four minor children without their mother.
The failure to timely diagnose cancer is a common claim in many medical malpractice cases involving cancer misdiagnoses. Most cancers can be effectively treated if the cancers are diagnosed early enough and the appropriate treatment is started as soon as possible. It is beyond sad when a patient’s cancer is misdiagnosed or untimely diagnosed because the delay may not only affect the type, severity, and length of treatment (including limiting treatment options available to the patient or requiring more extensive treatment) but may also reduce the life expectancy or cause the death of the patient. In many cases it is inexcusable for the doctors and hospitals to misdiagnose and/or mistreat various types of cancers.
Patients must be vigilant and seek prompt and proper medical care if they have a personal or family history of pre-cancer or cancer and have unexplained symptoms. Patients must be their own advocates and push for appropriate diagnosis and treatment if they suspect that their medical providers may have misdiagnosed or failed to properly diagnose their medical conditions. Second (or third) opinions by qualified medical practitioners are crucial in many instances to insure that patients are given the best opportunity to resolve their medical conditions with the most effective and earliest treatments.
Assembly-line medical care is all too common nowadays, whether in a doctor’s office or in a hospital, and is often a major factor in patients not receiving timely and appropriate treatment for their medical problems. There is usually no reason not to be assertive in seeking necessary medical diagnosis and treatment, not to question a medical diagnosis that may seem not to explain all symptoms, or not to seek a full explanation and understanding of the basis for the diagnosis and the treatment options that may be available — the choice of treatment options should be made by the patient in consultation with the treating physician so that everyone knows what is happening and what to expect with regard to medical care.
An educated and well-informed patient is often the best vaccine for avoiding medical malpractice incidents.
If you or a loved one have been injured due to possible medical malpractice, including the misdiagnosis of cancer or the late diagnosis of cancer, you should seek a local medical malpractice attorney to answer your medical malpractice questions.
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