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Failure to diagnose cancer can lead to additional trouble

Even in today's age of advanced technology, medical malpractice remains a major problem throughout the United States.

Any type of medical professional can make a mistake. From physicians to surgeons, from nurses to pharmacists, a seemingly minor mistake can have a negative impact on a patient's health.

Failure to diagnose cancer is one of the most serious types of medical malpractice. Here is why: The sooner this disease is diagnosed the sooner you can begin to receive treatment. Conversely, the longer you wait to receive treatment the greater chance there is that the disease will spread to other parts of the body, thus making it more difficult to overcome.

There are many circumstances that can result in a failure to diagnose cancer, such as:

-- A family doctor who writes off your symptoms as something less serious, such as constipation or the flu.

-- A radiologist who does not communicate the results of important testes to the patient. This can delay the diagnosis.

-- Test results that are misread. An example of this would be a CT scan or MRI that is read by an unqualified medical professional.

-- A specialist who fails to follow the suggestions of the radiologist.

These are just some of the more common reasons for failing to diagnose cancer. In an overall sense, it doesn't really matter why the diseased was not diagnosed at the appropriate time. What matters is that you have missed an opportunity to treat the cancer at an earlier stage.

As a patient, you can only do so much to ensure that you're receiving a high quality of care. For example, you can choose the best doctors. Along with this, you can double back on all tests to ensure that you receive timely results.

Unfortunately, even the most informed patients can run into trouble.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, such as a delayed cancer diagnosis, don't hesitate to learn more about your legal rights. While it's important to focus your time and energy on beating the disease, you also want to consider the action you can take against the negligent party. You may be able to make a claim with hopes of receiving compensation.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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