Help for Families Whose Loved Ones Were Not Given a Cancer Diagnosis in Time
Skilled medical malpractice attorneys serving Washington, D.C.
Cancer is terrifying: Researchers still struggle to understand how it works, and treatments are largely limited to surgery or dangerous, toxic chemicals that kill cancerous and healthy cells indiscriminately. Detecting cancer early is a patient’s best chance at recovery, and yet people are left undiagnosed or misdiagnosed every day.
At Paulson & Nace, PLLC, we protect the people of Washington, D.C. whose doctors and oncologists failed to diagnose cancer correctly or in a timely manner. We understand how serious this failed diagnosis is, and that your life or the life of your loved one may hang in the balance. For more than 40 years, our family has advocated on behalf of patients who need someone to fight for them, offering aggressive strategies and supportive counsel deigned to protect you and your family in court and during settlement negotiations.
Why cancer misdiagnoses happen
“Cancer” is a nebulous term, because it applies one definition – the uncontrolled division of abnormal cells – to a host of conditions. There is no real understanding of why this happens, or why some cells divide uncontrollably while others do not. Though science understands the links between environmental and behavioral matters and the types of cancer they might cause, such as smoking’s potential to cause lung cancer, or exposure to asbestos resulting in mesothelioma, we are largely unsure why it happens.
One of the problems with cancer is that it has no set symptoms. Different forms of cancer affect the body in different ways; in some cases, the symptoms indicate or duplicate those of another condition or disease. Some of the more commonly misdiagnosed cancers include:
- Lung cancer. Lung cancer may present with the same symptoms of bronchitis or an upper respiratory infection: coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Unless a doctor specifically orders a test, a patient may go undiagnosed. Lung cancer spreads quickly, and a delay in diagnosis can ultimately lead to the death of the patient.
- Colorectal cancer. Often mistaken for irritable bowel syndrome or even hemorrhoids, colorectal cancer affects the lower G.I. tract, such as the intestines.
- Pancreatic cancer. The pancreas produces insulin; diabetes, therefore, may be a symptom of pancreatic cancer. Doctors may diagnose the diabetes but fail to diagnose the pancreatic cancer if they do not explore the link. Pancreatic cancer may also be misdiagnosed as gallstones or pancreatitis.
Because so many cancers present as other illnesses, your doctor may not look for connections between your symptoms, your family medical history and your own medical records; instead, he or she may rely on past experiences with other patients who had similar symptoms to yours.
The tests may also read incorrectly, or a technician could make a mistake when performing the blood work or tests. All of these reasons can lead to a delay in your cancer diagnosis, which in turn leads to a delay in your treatment. Cases involving the failure to diagnose cancer are extremely complex and require an in-depth understanding of medical malpractice laws.
At Paulson & Nace, we have the skills, resources and experience you want on your side when your doctor has failed to diagnose cancer. We know what it takes to build a case that proves your delayed or missed diagnosis has caused your condition to worsen, and we spare no expense in the process. When your injuries are exacerbated by a negligent medical professional, we are by your side, fighting for your rights.
Failing to diagnose cancer can have devastating effects
Paulson & Nace, PLLC, proudly offers comprehensive counsel to malpractice victims throughout Washington, D.C. If a doctor failed to diagnose your cancer, leading to a delay in your treatment, we want to hear your story. Please call 202-930-0292 or fill out our contact form to schedule a no-obligation consultation.