Las Vegas Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney
Cancer has many signs and symptoms that also may occur in other illnesses, especially in the early stages of the disease. At other times, signs or symptoms are more typical of a specific cancer and allow a more definitive diagnosis. Often when the cancer has advanced, it becomes more identifiable.
Today’s vast number of diagnostic tests and exams make a definitive diagnosis more possible. These diagnostic procedures and tools include:
- More extensive physical exams
- Diagnostic radiological exams including CT scans, MRIs, and x-rays
- Laboratory tests
These tests also are used to rule out cancer as a potential cause of certain signs and symptoms.
Misdiagnosis may mean failure to diagnose the disease. This would be the case if the physician doesn’t consider cancer as a potential cause of the patient’s signs and symptoms when there are clues to the presence of disease that should be tracked down. Misdiagnosis may also mean misidentifying cancer as another disease.
When cancer is a possible diagnosis, the signs and symptoms should be followed up by the physician (as well as by the patient) to identify the source of the disease and determine if it is cancer.
The American Cancer Society lists the following as some general clues to the existence of cancer that should be further investigated. None of them on their own signifies the presence of cancer; further exams and tests need to be done to verify the diagnosis.
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained fever
- Extreme fatigue that doesn’t improve with rest
- Skin changes such as skin that is darker, yellowish, reddened, itches and excessive hair growth
More Specific Clues
Like the general clues, the following may signal the presence of cancer, but other tests and follow-up exams should be done to arrive at a definitive diagnosis:
- Change in bowel habits or bladder function
- Sores that do not heal
- White patches in the mouth or white spots on the tongue
- Unusual bleeding or discharge
- Thickening or a lump in the breast or elsewhere in the body
- Indigestion or trouble swallowing
- A wart, mole or freckle than changes size, shape, color or whose well defined border becomes more fuzzy
- Continuing cough or hoarseness
One of the most important principals in treating cancer is to discover the disease and treat it early. In its early stages, before it has grown too far, cancer is more treatable. Cancer is more difficult to treat after it has advanced and spread. In this situation, the result may be death.
Was Your Cancer Misdiagnosed?
Physicians and other diagnosticians who fail to diagnose cancer when it is treatable may be guilty of medical malpractice. If your doctor missed some obvious signs and symptoms that most doctors would catch and identify as cancer, you lost valuable time in starting to treat your disease. Also, if your doctor misdiagnosed your disease as something other than cancer, when in fact it was cancer, valuable time to treat the disease has passed.
In some cases, when cancer is diagnosed, it is too late for treatment. This should not happen. If this happened to you or someone in your family, you should call the law firm of Bertoldo, Baker, Carter & Smith for help. We represent individuals and families in medical malpractice claims in and around the Las Vegas area. Although filing a lawsuit cannot reverse the damage that has been done, financial compensation can help you or your loved one reach the highest quality of life.