Early detection and treatment of cancer provides the best opportunity for cure. Many types of cancer have wonderful survival statistics – if they are caught early. This is especially true with today’s advances in medications and technology. All this rests on one important factor – taking the proper steps to diagnose the cancer.
Many types of cancer have signs and symptoms that should alert doctors to a potential problem. In other cases, radiologic studies or blood analysis can reveal the potential presence of cancer. When a doctor fails to appreciate these factors, and a patient’s cancer is allowed to advance, the results can be devastating.
An example of a case handled by the lawyers at Kelley | Uustal that involved a failure to diagnose cancer is the case of a young man who went to the doctor because he was experiencing rectal bleeding. His doctor was an HMO doctor, and the tests to screen for colon cancer would have come out of the doctor’s own pocket. So, he didn’t do the testing. He diagnosed hemorrhoids and sent the patient on his way. This went on for two years and multiple visits each year. The man continued to experience rectal bleeding, abnormal stools, abdominal pain, weight loss, and eventually anemia from losing so much blood, and the doctor kept saying hemorrhoids. He eventually went to a gastroenterologist who quickly diagnosed his colon cancer (and the fact that the man never had hemorrhoids). Unfortunately, by that time it was too late. The patient died as a result of the delay. We secured a $2.5 million recovery on behalf of his children.