Ovarian Cancer Medical Malpractice Lawyer Compensation Claims
Thousands of Canadian citizens are diagnosed with ovarian 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. Ovarian 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 ovarian 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 ovarian 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.
Ovarian Cancer Misdiagnosis Facts
Approximately 2,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in Canada with about 1,300 of these women dying from that cancer per year. The median age of diagnosis of ovarian cancer is 63 years old with only one percent being diagnosed under the age of twenty years. This amounts to an incidence rate of 12.8 per 100,000 women per year. The rate is about the same for all ethnic groups but is a slight bit higher in white women. The average age of death by ovarian cancer is 71 years old. This amounts to about 8.6 out of 100,000 women dying of the disease per year. Survival rate depends on the stage of the cancer with a 92 percent five year survival rate for localized ovarian cancer, a 72 percent survival rate for regionally spread ovarian cancer, and a 27 percent five year survival rate for metastatic ovarian cancer. The lifetime risk of getting ovarian cancer is just over 1 percent.
Ovarian cancer is cancer that arises within the female ovary. This is the reproductive organ of the female system that produces eggs during ovulation. Ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other kind of female reproductive cancer. The risk factors for getting ovarian cancer include being born with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation—a mutation that also leads to breast cancer. Women who have had breast cancer are at a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. Family history of ovarian cancer can be a risk factor for developing the disease. Women on estrogen-only replacement medication for at least five years are at greater risk for developing ovarian cancer. Of note is the fact that birth control pills decrease the risk of developing this type of cancer. Women who are older are at a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer often are vague in the beginning. The woman may feel more bloated than normal or can have a full feeling when eating so she doesn’t eat as much. There can be pain in the pelvic area or in the abdomen. Other symptoms include being constipated, having abnormal menstrual cycles, having indigestion, a lack of appetite, and nausea or vomiting. There can be a sense of heaviness in the pelvic area and swelling of the abdomen. Unexplained back pain can be contributed to ovarian cancer, especially if it gets worse over time. Women can have weight gain or weight loss as part of having ovarian cancer. Certain types of ovarian cancer can cause excessive hair growth and, depending on the location and metastases involved, there can be increased urinary urgency or frequency.
Doctors can diagnose ovarian cancer by means of a careful history and physical examination. There can be ascites in the abdomen (excess fluid) or an ovarian mass noted on pelvic exam or abdominal exam. If a woman has already been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or has symptoms of ovarian cancer, she can have a CA-125 blood test. This can be highly positive in certain ovarian cancers but is not a definitive way to diagnose ovarian cancer because some ovarian cancers can be negative for CA-125. Doctors can do an ultrasound, a CT scan or MRI scan of the pelvis and abdomen to look for masses and find metastases. A complete blood count and blood chemistries should be undertaken to look for organ system involvement. Some women can have a laparoscopy with biopsies to tell whether or not a mass is cancerous or not.
If the mass is cancerous, doctors usually do an open laparotomy and remove both ovaries, the fallopian tubes and the uterus. This decreases the chance of metastases. Any involved lymph nodes are removed as well. The omentum of the abdomen is removed. This is the fatty layer that protects the intestinal tract and is a common place for metastases from ovarian cancer.
Chemotherapy is used following surgery to the pelvis and abdomen. Chemotherapy can be placed directly into the abdominal cavity or can be used by IV means. Radiation therapy tends not to work in ovarian cancer so it is not used much. Follow up includes regular visits to the doctor every 2-4 months for the first two years and every 6 months for the next three years to check for metastases. If the CA-125 was high in the beginning, it can be checked at each visit to see if it is becoming elevated again.