It’s devastating for any California resident to learn they have cancer. However, it’s much worse when a misdiagnosis occurs, only to be told later that cancer is the true diagnosis. You have options if you are in this situation.
How a misdiagnosis happens with cancer
Certain types of cancers are difficult to detect. Some are rare while others have symptoms that closely mimic those that are common with other medical conditions. For example, lung cancer has symptoms that often mirror those found in pneumonia.
Unfortunately, some types of cancer exhibit no symptoms until they reach the later stages of the disease. Again, using the example of lung cancer, the signs are often nonexistent until a person has had the disease for several years.
When a patient suffers harm after being misdiagnosed by a doctor, they may have cause to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. In this situation, harm means that the disease has progressed to a later stage and may not be as easily treatable as it was earlier.
When a doctor is liable for a misdiagnosis
A doctor could be held liable for a cancer misdiagnosis if it occurred due to negligence. Doctors and other medical professionals are held to a high standard of care by patients. However, when the care the patient receives is substandard to the expected level that any other doctor would provide, it gives them a fair right to claim medical malpractice.
To prove negligence for a cancer misdiagnosis, elements must be in place. One is that the doctor owed a duty of care. The second is that the duty of care was breached, which directly led to the patient suffering harm. In this instance, harm would mean the cancer has progressed.
No one should experience a cancer misdiagnosis. Depending on the length of time since the misdiagnosis, a second opinion could make a difference between life and death.