One of the most commonly cited reasons for malpractice lawsuits in the medical community is the failure to diagnose significant, life-threatening diseases, such as cancer. Healthcare providers are held to a certain standard of care when treating patients; this includes the ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of different cancers and ordering appropriate tests as early as possible.
The best defense against cancer is early detection. Without an accurate diagnosis, cancer can metastasize or quickly spread to other areas of the body, becoming less curable and potentially more deadly.
However, it is important to distinguish medical malpractice from legitimate medical errors. A poor outcome does not necessarily mean that a healthcare provider was negligent in their care of a patient. But in the event that a doctor is reckless during an examination and overlooks the signs and symptoms of cancer that an otherwise competent doctor would have noticed, the patient may lose out on the valuable opportunity to begin fighting the disease as soon as possible.
Failure to diagnose can occur when a medical provider:
- Does not review the patient’s family history of cancers;
- Does not listen to the patient’s complaints or recognizes their significance;
- Fails to order appropriate tests and does not follow up with the results; or
- Fails to make a timely referral to a specialist.
If you or someone you love has been harmed by a doctor’s failure to diagnose a serious disease, please do not wait to research your legal options. Contact the medical malpractice lawyers at Kahn Roven in Los Angeles to learn more. Our experienced team can help you make an informed decision about protecting your rights.