West Palm Beach Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer
The Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney: Solutions for a Common Problem
In 2014, an attorney in Detroit filed civil lawsuits on behalf of nearly a dozen patients treated by an Oakland County cancer specialist charged with intentionally misdiagnosing and mistreating patients for money. According to the government, some of Dr. Fata’s patients were exposed to powerful drugs over and over, despite having no cancer. Prosecutors say Fata gave one of his patients 155 chemo treatments over two-and-a-half years, even though the patient was cancer-free. Other patients, they say, were pumped with unnecessary blood therapy and iron treatments. A specialist cancer misdiagnosis attorney sees many of these cases.
While this story is certainly shocking, what is even more shocking is how often regular, everyday doctors misdiagnose cancer symptoms. For Frank Barerra, the memory is haunting. Frank was 48 years old when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He soon found himself in a surgery clinic awaiting prostate removal. The surgery was just minutes away, the IV drip had begun and the operating staff was prepped. Suddenly, a call came in from the pathology department. A check of his biopsy slides showed there had been a mistake; Frank Barerra had no cancer. "You can imagine it was like waking up from a bad dream," Barerra recalls. This is when Frank took the time to contact a cancer misdiagnosis attorney.
Facts Regarding Misdiagnosis
When researchers at the John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore reviewed tissue samples from 6,000 cancer patients across the country, they found one out of every 71 cases was misdiagnosed. "That can change whether a patient gets no treatment, vs. surgery, vs. radiation," says Dr. Jonathan Epstein of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. "If they get surgery or radiation, which type?"
It is estimated that approximately 10 to 20 percent of all cases of cancer are misdiagnosed. One study found that about 28 percent of the mistakes made out of 583 cases were life threatening or life altering. More and more attorneys specializing in cancer misdiagnosis are having cases like these passed across their desks.
A study conducted by the Veteran's Administration hospital in Texas estimated there are about 500,000 diagnostic errors out of about 500 million cases that occur each year in the United States. Physicians that were surveyed admitted to encountering at least one misdiagnosis every month. Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can cost the patient valuable time and money, result in deteriorating health, or even put the patient's life at risk. In some cases, the patient may even receive costly radiation therapy or experimental medication, resulting in health complications that never should have happened in the first place.
It's Not Just Hospitals
Previous studies examining the rates of medical misdiagnosis have focused primarily on patients in hospital settings. But recent research suggests a vast number of patients are being misdiagnosed in outpatient clinics and doctors' offices. In cases involving the potential of cancer, this can lead to an expensive trail of specialist visits, further misdiagnoses, and hefty bills.
Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawsuits
In essence, a cancer misdiagnosis refers to cases in which the disease was:
- Undiagnosed or missed diagnosed (undetected).
- Incorrectly diagnosed (another type of disease was diagnosed).
- Wrongly diagnosed (patient is actually cancer-free).
Medical professionals are responsible for taking the proper steps to detect and diagnose cancer. In instances where they fail to do this, a doctor, nurse, hospital or other healthcare provider may be held legally accountable for any injury or death that occurs as a result of a cancer misdiagnosis. Contacting an experienced cancer misdiagnosis attorney will help you determine if you have sufficient grounds for a cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit.