When Does Cancer Misdiagnosis Qualify as Medical Malpractice?

When it comes to cancer diagnosis, early diagnosis is key for the patient to receive prompt care and have the best odds of beating it. But if a doctor misdiagnoses a cancer patient, they inadvertently delay the patient from potentially lifesaving treatment. 

There are three common categories that misdiagnosis can fall under:

  • Failure to diagnosethis occurs when a doctor fails to diagnose a patient’s cancer. When a doctor fails to diagnose in the early stages of cancer, it eliminates some of the patient’s treatment options and can make it more difficult to stop the progression of the disease. 
  • Incorrect diagnosis – this occurs when a doctor misdiagnoses a patient with a type of cancer they don’t have. This can lead to the patient receiving the wrong type of treatment, thus delaying the treatment of the cancer they actually have.
  • “False positive” diagnosis – this occurs when a patient is diagnosed with cancer when in actuality, they do not have any type of cancer. This can lead to patients undergoing dangerous, even life-threatening, treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, and more when they do not need it. 

A cancer misdiagnosis is serious and can have severe effects. If you’ve been misdiagnosed, you may want to speak with a cancer misdiagnosis lawyer in Louisville to learn more about your options. 

When A Misdiagnosis Qualifies as Medical Malpractice

Doctors have a large influence on their patients’ health, and a cancer diagnosis can change their patients’ lives. It is important that when doctors make a cancer diagnosis, they take the necessary steps to be sure they are making the correct diagnosis. 

Doctors are legally held to a high standard of care. This means they are obligated to take all possible and necessary actions to accurately diagnose and treat their patients. When a doctor fails to meet the standard of care, their patient may suffer physical and economic damages and may be able to hold the doctor liable for medical malpractice. 

A doctor can be held liable for medical malpractice if they failed to:

  • Recognize and identify apparent cancer symptoms
  • Conduct the appropriate screenings and tests for cancer
  • Order follow-up tests for positive or abnormal results from previous tests
  • Account for the patient’s medical history or family’s history of cancer
  • Adhere to the proper procedures and protocols for testing, causing errors in the test results

Other medical professionals can be held liable for medical malpractice as well if they make negligent errors. This can include medical technicians, lab analysts, pharmacists, nurses, and administrators. 

Most Commonly Misdiagnosed Cancers

Some cancers are more commonly misdiagnosed than others, these include:

How An Attorney Can Help You When Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

If you think you may have a medical malpractice claim due to a cancer misdiagnosis, you may want to speak with a medical malpractice attorney in Louisville. A skilled lawyer will be able to help you identify and collect the necessary data you need related to your case and conduct research to determine if you have grounds to file. Filing a medical malpractice claim can be challenging, but an experienced attorney can help ensure you understand what is happening each step of the way.