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With many forms of cancer, early medical care dramatically increases the chances of success at beating the disease, and if a doctor misdiagnoses a patient, there can be a number of disastrous consequences. A misdiagnosis can delay vital treatment allowing time for the cancer to progress, which makes finding treatment options difficult as many will no longer be effective, and many late-stage cancer treatments are very aggressive and hard on the body.

For this reason, patients suffering from cancer who believe their condition may have been misdiagnosed may benefit from talking to a Raleigh cancer misdiagnosis lawyer to help them build their medical malpractice case.

How Misdiagnosis Occurs

Often doctors fail to allow for adequate time to examine their patients or do not pay proper attention to patients’ descriptions of symptoms.

If a doctor fails to consider relevant possibilities and orders diagnostic treatment or a referral to an oncologist, the correct diagnosis could be delayed for years or never even occur. Sometimes, insurance guidelines may play a disproportionate role in a doctor’s decision to conduct tests or order referrals.

However, financial considerations and a doctor’s relationship with insurance companies do not override a doctor’s duty of care to patients and should not be allowed to impact the quality of treatment in a potentially devastating manner.

Once a diagnosis is made, doctors will usually stop seeking the cause of the symptoms and start treatment based on that diagnosis. So the patient may receive unnecessary medicine, surgery or other treatment while the actual condition worsens, thereby making it important a cancer misdiagnosis attorney in Raleigh is contacted.

Types of Cancers Most Frequently Misdiagnosed

According to a study conducted by the National Coalition on Health Care and Best Doctors, Inc., doctors believe the most commonly misdiagnosed cancers are:

  • Lymphoma
  • Breast cancer
  • Melanomas (skin cancer)
  • Brain/central nervous system cancers
  • Lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Colon/rectal cancer

Damages Available

A patient or the family of a patient who has suffered due to a cancer misdiagnosis may be eligible for compensation for medical malpractice. To begin with, a patient may be awarded money to cover past and future medical bills, lost wages and loss of future income capacity.

Moreover, patients with the help of a cancer misdiagnosis attorney may also recover damages to cover pain and suffering, emotional distress, and the loss of enjoyment of certain aspects of life.

While North Carolina law puts a limit on the amount of compensation that may be awarded for non-economic damages, the limit does not apply if the patient suffers particular permanent or disfiguring injuries and the malpractice can be traced to recklessness, malice, an intentional act, or gross negligence.

Contacting a Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney

A cancer misdiagnosis attorney in Raleigh with experience in cancer malpractice cases can advise patients as to whether doctors or other medical professionals could be held liable for a delayed or improper diagnosis. An attorney can help determine whether that failed diagnosis provides grounds for a legal recovery and can explain your options.