Cancer Medical Malpractice Lawyer Compensation Claims Canada
Thousands of Canadian citizens are diagnosed with cancer every year however only a minority are diagnosed early enough to affect a cure. The key to survival is early diagnosis and treatment which is often delayed due to misdiagnosis or misinterpreted test results. Cancer misdiagnosis is extremely common and failure by a healthcare practitioner that amounts to negligence is a matter of medical malpractice and entitles the victim to claim financial recompense for pain and suffering or the loss of opportunity for a cure. Our specialist medical malpractice lawyers deal with cancer clinical negligence cases against doctors, nurses, technicians and other healthcare providers working in medical practices, clinics, hospitals and all other places where health care is dispensed. If you would like advice about cancer misdiagnosis just contact our offices and a specialist medical malpractice lawyer with call to discuss your potential compensation claim without charge and without further obligation. Our medical malpractice lawyers will give you their opinion on the liability of the negligent healthcare provider and will estimate the amount of the likely award of damages there and then.
Cancer Misdiagnosis Facts
Cancer is a condition where a single cell or in some cases, multiple cells (in multifocal cancer) sustain a change in their DNA to the point where the cell divides uncontrollably, making millions to billions of copies of itself in a clone-like fashion. This forms a tumor, except in cases of some lymphatic cancers, inflammatory breast cancer and leukemias. The tumor displaces other body parts and cells break off to metastasize in distant body areas.
Cancer is diagnosed by symptom presentation and by the presence of a tumor on imaging techniques or by examination. It is incumbent on the doctor to do the proper screening tests for the various cancers and to follow through with the follow up examinations that confirm the diagnosis of cancer.
The biggest problem in cancer detection is the failure to diagnose the cancer. This is called a “false negative test” and means the doctor failed to find a cancer that would otherwise be found when using the right screening test for cancer at the right time. All tests have an inherent false negative possibility but the tests used today are those that have been measured to have the least rate of false negativity.
Cancer misdiagnosis can happen due to the following actions on the part of the doctor:
- The doctor can fail to diagnose something that is obvious on the examination, such as a skin cancer.
- Failing to perform a physical examination in the first place.
- Failing to perform the right diagnostic screening test for cancer at the proper times.
- Not diagnosing cancer on a screening test that would show cancer if another doctor looked at it.
- Diagnosing a tumor that is not there (a false positive).
- Failing to follow up abnormal testing.
- Not interpreting a lab or imaging test correctly.
- Ignoring blood tests that show cancerous changes.
- Failing to follow up on a positive test on the patient.
- Failing to test for cancer when the patient has obvious symptoms.
- Ignoring a history of discomfort or pain.
- Failing to biopsy a tumor or the suggestion of a tumor.
- Failing to recommend the right treatment for diagnosed cancer.
- Ignoring a family history of a specific cancer and do the proper testing.
- Failing to respond urgently to a positive test or an abnormal exam.
- Losing the patient’s records.
When the doctor fails to diagnose cancer using the accepted standards designed to detect cancer, what ends up happening is a late diagnosis of cancer. What we know about cancer is that the later the diagnosis of cancer, the worse the prognosis. If a cancer isn’t found in stage I disease and is instead found when it metastasizes or has spread beyond the border of the organ involved in the cancer, the chance of death from the cancer is much higher. Screening tests are designed to detect cancer it its precancerous or early cancerous stages, when the rate of death is lower and more people survive the cancer.
Even a false positive rate of cancer can be a negligent thing. If cancer is diagnosed on a screening test, often other tests or surgeries are performed that can, of themselves, be dangerous to partake in. A colonoscopy, for example, can lead to a false positive for colon cancer and a surgery which is dangerous inherently. False positive rates can lead to emotional distress in the person diagnosed with cancer who doesn’t have cancer in the first place. This, added to unnecessary testing, can lead to a very hard time for the patient who has no real cancer.