MEDICAL MALPRACTICE AND DELAYED DIAGNOSIS OF CANCER



Free consultation on your delayed diagnosis of cancer claim

keywords, delayed diagnosis, negligent, medical malpractice, delayed diagnosis of cancer, missed diagnosis of cancer, claim, medical malpractice claim, cancer medical malpractice claim, delayed diagnosis of cancer claim.

Cases of missed or delayed diagnosis involve three elements.

Negligence

A doctor does not insure the safety of his patients and every missed diagnosis does not constitute negligence.   Instead, his duty is to conform to the applicable standard of care.    What that standard is will usually be the subject of expert evaluation by a professional in the same area.

Proximate Cause 

Did the error substantially alter the course of the disease or the patient's prognosis.  A 4-6 month diagnosis will not alter the prognosis for many cancers.  We can identify the following factors in assessing the impact of a missed diagnosis.

    A. Delay  How much time transpired between the time the cancer should have been diagnosed and the date it was.

    B. Initial Treatability  Can the plaintiff show the disease was initially treatable. 

    C. Stage. Has the stage of the disease changes and is that attributable to delayed diagnosis.

Some states require the plaintiff to show it was more likely than not that the missed diagnosis impacted the patient's condition.  In others damages are based upon the value of a lost chance, even if that chance was less than 50%.

Damages  Every life is valuable and every loss a tragedy. Nonetheless many lawyers will evaluate claims based upon various criteria of damages.  These would include, the nature of lost wages and other financial losses. 

Literature on Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer Claims

Christensen, The impact of delayed diagnosis of lung cancer on the stage at the time of operatio, European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Volume 12, Issue 6, December 1997, Pages 880-884
Objective: The purpose of this investigation was to study the correlation between diagnostic delay
and the stage of the lung cancer at the time of operation. A second objective was to study differences
in symptoms between the patients grouped according to stage. 

Billing, Delays in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of lung cancer. British Medical Journal, 1996
The survival of patients with lung cancer is well known to be correlated with the stage.'  There is concern that delay in diagnosis
and treatment allows tumour progression and thus reduces survival. The patient may also require more extensive resection. 

Turkington, Misinterpretation of the chest x ray as a factor in the delayed diagnosis of lung cancer,  Postgraduate Medical  Journal, 2002
All patients in 1997 with a histologically proved diagnosis of lung cancer in Castle Hill Hospital
in whom a full set of case notes and x rays could be retrieved were studied. All previous chest
x rays were reviewed by a consultant chest physician and a radiologist.

IJensen, Impact of delay on diagnosis and treatment of primary lung cancer, Acta Oncologica, 2002

Corner, Experience of health changes and reasons for delay in seeking care: a UK study of the months prior to the diagnosis of lung cancer,
Social Science & Medicine, 2006
The problem of 'delay' in diagnosing cancer as a result of late presentation by individuals who
have symptoms, or through doctor or hospital system failures, are currently the subject of close
attention as part of broader initiatives to reduce deaths from cancer. 

Forrest, Radiologic errors in patients with lung cancer Western Journal of Medicine, 1981
Viewed in the 23 patients in group 2 (failure of detection), multiple errors were discovered in most
cases (Table 3). The diagnosis of lung cancer was often delayed months to years after the first
definite radiologic evidence of a mass had gone unrecognized 

Quekel, Miss Rate of Lung Cancer on the Chest Radiograph in Clinical Practice,  Am J Roentgenol 1986; 147:12911298.

Kenneth, Medicolegal analysis of the delayed diagnosis of cancer: 338 cases in the United States. Arch Churg 1994;129,397-404.

Potchen, When is it malpractice to miss lung cancer on chest radiographs? 

Salomaa, Delays in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Lung Cancer,  Chest, 2005
Besides these, several other national recommendations on delay times in the diagnosis and
treatment of lung cancer exist. .

Christensen, The impact of delayed diagnosis of lung cancer on the stage at the time of operation.
The purpose of this investigation was to study the correlation between diagnostic delay and the stage
of the lung cancer at the time of operation. A second objective was to study differences in symptoms
between the patients grouped according to stage.
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Volume 12, Issue 6, December 1997,

Jensen, Impact of delay on diagnosis and treatment of primary lung cancer.
 Salomma, Delays in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Lung Cancer, Chest,  October 2005 vol. 128 no. 4 2282-2288

Bjerager, Delay in diagnosis of lung cancer in general practice, - The British Journal of  Medicine, 2006
Lung cancer is a common cancer disease; nevertheless, in Denmark a GP only sees one new
case of lung cancer per year. The core symptoms of lung cancer, cough and dyspnoea, are on
the other hand very common in general practice. 
 

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIMS  (Free Consultation provided on legal claims)

Over 70% of lung tumors are diagnosed at advanced stages, reducing the patient's opportunity for long term survival.   In some instances, a doctor's failure to promptly diagnose a lung tumor, and order or interpret appropriate tests may be malpractice.  Our office handles failure to diagnose lung cancer cases in New Jersey and New York.    

evaluating missed diagnosis of cancer cases  (article by Howard Gutman, New Jersey law Journal)
medical malpractice lung cancer claims         cancer malpractice statute of limitations               
New York Cancer Malpractice claims            medical malpractice and clinical practice guidelines
New Jersey cancer malpractice claims          medical malpractice liability

Medical malpractice jury instruction             New York Medical malpractice law 
medical malpractice pre-existing cause        workers' compensation doctor liability for malpractice

cancer, malpractice and informed consent    article on missed and delayed diagnosis and malpractice claims

laboratory error and malpractice                  veteran's hospital medical malpractice claims
X-rays and missed diagnosis

 

keywords, delayed diagnosis, negligent, medical malpractice, delayed diagnosis of cancer, missed diagnosis of cancer, claim, medical malpractice claim, cancer medical malpractice claim, delayed diagnosis of cancer claim.


Contact Information

Telephone
 
Howard A. Gutman, 973-598-1980 
FAX
973-598-19828
Postal address
230 Route 206, Flanders, New Jersey 07836, 
New York Office 305 Madison Avenue, Suite 449,  New York, New York 10165,
Email
Howian@aol.com

Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma

Keywords, cancer, delayed diagnosis, cancer misdiagnosis, medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, medical negligence, New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer, New York medical malpractice lawyer, cancer misdiagnosis. medical malpractice, New Jersey, failure to diagnose cancer, defenses, statute of limitations, New York medical malpractice lawyer, defenses, failure to diagnose, and proximate cause, New Jersey medical malpractice