Lung Cancer Medical Malpractice Lawyer Compensation Claims
Thousands of Canadian citizens are diagnosed with lung 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. Lung 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 lung 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 lung 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.
Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis Facts
Lung cancer happens when certain cells of the lung undergo a change in DNA so that they grow out of control. There are two main types of general lung cancer: small cell cancer and large cell cancer (or non-small cell cancer). They are defined by the size of the cancer cell under the microscope.
Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in Canada for both men and women. About 20,000 individuals are diagnosed in Canada each year with some form of lung cancer. More men are diagnosed with lung cancer than women. Of these, 15,000 individuals die from lung cancer in a given year. The survival rate for lung cancer depends on the stage of the lung cancer, the type of lung cancer, the overall health of the patient, how many symptoms a person has and whether or not the cancer is primary. Cancers that have come back have an overall poor prognosis.
The overall survival rate for cancer of the lung is about 10-17 percent after five years. The best survival rate is in white women and the worse survival rate is in black men. The stage of the cancer makes a big difference in survival. Only about 16 percent of lung cancer patients are diagnosed with localized disease. Thirty seven percent of lung cancer patients involve those that have lymph node involvement or larger involvement within the lung. Thirty nine percent of cases occur when the patient has been diagnosed with metastatic disease. The five year survival rate for localized disease is 49 percent; the survival rate for regional disease is 15 percent and the survival rate for distant disease is 2 percent.
Lung cancer usually happens in those over the age of 45 and increases with age. It is most commonly associated with cigarette smoking but there are other risk factors as well. Secondhand smoke increases your risk of lung cancer as does high levels of air pollution. Radon gas can lead to lung cancer as well as elevated levels of arsenic in drinking water. Asbestos can lead to lung cancer, particularly a form of lung cancer known as mesothelioma. Radiation to the lungs can contribute to cancer and a family history of lung cancer can predispose you to having lung cancer. Exposure to multiple carcinogenic agents like uranium, beryllium, diesel exhaust and other agents can make contribute to getting lung cancer.
The main symptoms of lung cancer include having a cough that doesn’t go away, coughing up blood, wheezing, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss and chest pain. You will often be very tired for no reason. Weakness is possible as is difficulty swallowing, clubbed fingernails, joint pain and hoarseness of the voice. The arms or face can swell, the eyelids can droop and the face can be paralyzed on one side.
Doctors can test for lung cancer after doing a careful history and physical exam. A screening chest x-ray can show lung cancer but it is not recommended to have screening chest x-rays for everyone. Sometimes smokers get periodic x-rays in order to screen for lung cancer. A chest x-ray can be followed by having an MRI or CT scan of the chest that will better define the cancer and look for involved lymph nodes. Sputum can be looked at under the microscope for cancer cells and can help tell what kind of cancer is present. A needle biopsy under ultrasound or CT guidance or a bronchoscopic biopsy can be done to show what kind of cancer is present in the lungs. A PET scan can show small areas of increased activity indicative of lung cancer. Some people need an open lung biopsy to better show the type of cancer involved in the lung cancer.
Lung cancer is treated by removing the cancer and surrounding lung tissue. Offending lymph nodes can be removed during the same surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation help extend life but are rarely curative.