A patient may be harmed by a physician's or hospital's failure to timely diagnose cancer.  Delay may eliminate the possibility of surgery and reduce the patient's treatment options.   Our office handles medical malpractice case dealing with failure to diagnose lung cancer and other cancers.   Failure to diagnose lung cancer cases typically involve three scenarios:

1.  Medical Malpractice, Failure to Take a Chest X-Ray

      We start with the proposition that there is no overall duty of a physician to take a chest-ray of a smoker.   Current medical practice has rejected the notion of x-rays for screening purposes, even for high risk individuals such as a pack a day smoker.   Frequently however, a patient will present with symptoms of lung cancer together with a high-risk profile.  The following are among the symptoms of lung cancer: 

      Thus, a typical case would note the patient's symptoms, smoking history, and suggest that the doctor's failure to take a chest x-ray was negligence which reduced the patient's chances for long-term survival with the disease.   (The different stages and types of non-small and small lung cancer are discussed in our book A Complete Guide to Lung Cancer).

2.  Chest X-ray Misinterpreted   A second, perhaps more frequent scenario occurs when a chest x-ray is taken, but misinterpreted.  Chest x-rays are difficult to read and require more than a fair amount of skill to accurately interpret.  Yet sadly, many internists, general physicians and pulmonologists read the x-rays on their own, without seeking a professional review by a radiologist skilled in the area.  When that one cm tumor, but a faint line on an x-ray is missed and treatment is delayed, the patient's chances for long-term survival have been compromised.  

3. Lack of Follow-up  Closely related to 2 is the failure to obtain necessary follow-up.  Perhaps the x-ray, even as interpreted by the radiologist is vague.  Exactly what a spot or shadow  represents can be unclear.  Ct Scan and to some extent MRI are far more reliable means of diagnosis than the simple chest x-ray. When the physician mistakenly diagnoses emphysema instead of cancer, and fails to obtain the necessary follow-up tests, there may be medical malpractice.     

What is Medical Malpractice

     Medical malpractice is the failure to comply with the standard of care of the reasonably prudent physician in the same area of work or specialization.  A doctor does not have to be perfect; and he cannot be held liable where he exercises judgment choosing between two accepted courses of action or procedure.  However, where he fails to perform his duties with the same degree of competence as the average physician in his area, and the patient suffers injury as a result, a claim can be brought.  Assessment of a medical malpractice claims requires not only a lawyer's review, but the assessment of another physician  


To review our book, A Complete Guide to Lung Cancer, go to lungcancerbook.htm Detailed excerpts from the upcoming book including lung cancer staging systems, non-small cell and small cell cancers, types of surgery, survival rates, chemotherapy and radiation, other treatments, different types of surgery, smoking and cancer, organizations involved with lung cancer. Alternatively, go to individual topics as follows,

Chapter 1-2 
how cancer develops,  staging, different types of lung cancer and differences between  non-small cell and small cell lung cancer.

Chapter 4   Non-Small Cell lung cancer,  treatment categorized by stage, chemotherapy, radiation, prognosis categorized by stage,

Chapter 5   
(Small Cell lung cancer, treatment,  staging, metastasis, from A Complete Guide to Lung Cancer)

Other Sources 

medical malpractice and standard of (a journal discussing medical malpractice standards of care including failure to diagnose cancer) (contains a list of top 10 medical malpractice claims by frequency, number 2,  failure to diagnose cancer). 

keywords: medical malpractice, failure to diagnose cancer, negligence, malpractice, standard of care, cancer medical malpractice, New Jersey lawyer, cancer medical malpractice.

Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma





keywords, cancer, medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, lung cancer, cervical cancer, New Jersey medical malpractice, delayed diagnosis of cancer,  laboratory error,  medical malpractice lawyer, missed diagnosis, lung cancer compensaation, delayed diagnosis, cancer, missed diagnosis of cancer, lung cancer claim .

Law Offices of Howard A. Gutman,
230 Route 206, Mount Olive, New Jersey 07054
(973) 598-1980, E-mail
Fax (973) 598-1982

New York Office
305 Madison Avenue, Suite 449
New York, New York 10165 (212) 886-4838


We offer a free initial telephone consultation to discuss your lung cancer malpractice claim. Please feel free to call or e-mail our office.