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What happens when patients’ cancer diagnoses are delayed?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2024 | Cancer Misdiagnosis

Everyone dreads the cancer diagnosis. But what is far worse is not getting the diagnosis while there is still time to fight back against the disease. Sometimes, no news can wind up being the worst news of all.

What happens when your cancer diagnosis is delayed? Below are some of the concerns as detailed by the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The malignancy grows

When cancer cells go undetected by screenings and tests or are overlooked by medical personnel, the patient’s condition worsens. The malignant cells form tumors that grow larger, threatening vital organs and the blood supply.

Cancer metastasizes

The malignancy that was once confined to a single spot, e.g., breast, appears in another site in the body, e.g., brain or bones. At this point, treatment options may be limited. In some cases, the patient may receive only palliative care and/or enter hospice as their disease progresses.

Better screening, symptom awareness

If patients are routinely screened for certain diseases at age-appropriate intervals, fewer will fall through the cracks and fail to be diagnosed. Some patients also lack awareness of the symptoms of their condition, and physicians can alleviate this by addressing symptoms with their patients.

When neglect is the cause of the delay

If your or your family member’s cancer diagnosis was delayed due to a health care worker’s failure to provide the standard of care, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses, damages and injuries.

Medical malpractice cases are won and lost based on a plaintiff’s documentation. Be diligent from the very start regarding the collection and preservation of evidence if you want to prevail at trial.