According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death across all ages and genders. Timely detection of lung cancer determines how successful a patient will be in surviving it.
How can a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer help you if you’re diagnosed with lung cancer? The lawyer can help determine whether your lung cancer was apparent and ignored by your healthcare professionals. If so, you could be compensated for the physical and emotional injuries you sustain from your lung cancer.
There are two main types of lung cancer medical malpractices cases we see.
The patient is asymptomatic for most of the time she has lung cancer. The majority of lung cancer medical malpractice cases that are handled involve a patient who lived with lung cancer for months or years prior to feeling any related symptoms. Their doctors, however, should have seen the lung cancer on radiology studies of the patient’s chest and missed it. Due to this malpractice, the lung cancer was allowed to progress to an advanced stage.
For example, let’s say, a patient was diagnosed with a heart condition years ago and needed to have a cardiac surgical procedure. Prior to the procedure, her cardiologist (heart doctor) ordered for her to have a chest MRI taken. The MRI at this time showed tumors in the patient’s lungs and the cardiologist who reviewed the MRI never identified the tumors and/or told the patient about the tumors. Then, a year later, the patient fell while skiing and had to go to Urgent Care where she had a chest x-ray taken. The x-ray confirmed that she broke her sternum but did not diagnose her tumors. A year after that, after suffering from a flu that resulted in a chronic cough, the patient’s primary care physician ordered that she have an x-ray taken to rule out pneumonia. On that x-ray, the physician noticed that the patient had tumors all over her lungs and she was diagnosed with advanced-stage lung cancer. In this case, the patient’s Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney could and would sue various responsible parties, such as the patient’s cardiologist and the Urgent Care staff, for missing the clear signs of lung cancer on the earlier MRI and earlier x-ray.
In other words, even where someone doesn’t have symptoms of lung cancer, the lung cancer may be detected by various diagnostic tests such as MRI, x-ray, and CT scans when the healthcare providers are scanning the patient’s chest for other reasons. And if they fail to observe the tumors or they do see the tumors and just fail to communicate to the patient about the tumors, they have caused an unnecessary delay in treatment and can be held liable.
Another type of case Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyers see is where the patient is symptomatic. In these cases, the patient was coughing a lot or spitting up blood or wheezing or losing weight rapidly and they go to see their doctor who fails to order diagnostic scans which would have showed lung cancer.
As in the first example, the doctor is liable for medical malpractice because the doctor failed to diagnose lung cancer early and get the patient in a proper cancer treatment program (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, etc.).
It’s imperative to detect and treat lung cancer as early as possible to maximize the patient’s chance for survival. Failure of a healthcare provider to do so is medical malpractice.
If you or your loved one need help with a lung cancer case, contact the Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorneys at VSCP Law.
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