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One of the biggest risks that individuals with cancer face are that their cancer will spread to other parts of the body. Early detection of cancer can increase the chances that treatment will prevent this. Not every delay in beginning treatment is the result of a patient not seeking medical attention and remaining unaware of their illness.

In some cases, delays in detecting cancer may be the result of a misdiagnosis, despite the patient seeking medical treatment. If this happened to you or a loved one, contact a Winston-Salem cancer misdiagnosis lawyer for assistance in putting forth a malpractice suit today.

Common Causes of Cancer Misdiagnoses

Cancer misdiagnoses are more common than the general public would expect. The British Medical Journal of Quality and Safety completed a study in 2013 that estimated that the rate of cancer misdiagnosis was 28 percent.

Doctors surveyed in the study indicated that the leading cause of cancer misdiagnoses is fragmented information across medical systems. Inadequate or missing information on genetics at the time of the diagnosis and faulty equipment were also included in the list of common causes.

Failing to diagnose, delayed diagnoses, and misdiagnoses can happen with any type of cancer. It is most common with lymphoma, but other common cancers, such as breast and cervical cancer, are also often misdiagnosed. When cancer screenings are not completed properly or the screening results are misinterpreted, the patient suffers.

Delayed treatment could result in the cancer spreading, which could impact treatment and recovery time, require more aggressive treatment, and in some cases, lead to a preventable death.

Standard of Care

In medical malpractice claims, which include cancer misdiagnosis cases, there is a focus on the standard of care. Standard of care refers to the acceptable level of care and skill that other medical professionals in the same specialty would use in the same or similar circumstances.

All errors or delays in diagnosing cancer do not immediately rise to falling below the acceptable standard of care.

For a medical professional or facility to be liable to a victim after a cancer misdiagnoses or delays in diagnosing cancer, it must be determined that the actions or inaction of the person, people, or entity, who had a duty to the victim, fell below the acceptable standard of care, which caused the victim to suffer further injury or illness.

A physician that fails to perform tests or seek opinions from specialists when diagnosing a patient may be liable for the patient’s injuries if this results in a misdiagnosis.

How a Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney Can Help

It can be difficult to determine the extent of the injury to a victim whose cancer was misdiagnosed, but it is not impossible.  It is important to work with attorneys that have experience assessing the chances that the cancer diagnosis would not have been delayed or inaccurate had the victim received an acceptable standard of care.

If you suspect that you have been harmed because of a cancer misdiagnosis in the Piedmont Triad, protect your rights by contacting a respected and trusted Winston-Salem cancer misdiagnosis attorney to discuss your case.