No West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorney would expect an oncologist to perfectly diagnose every patient. In fact, cancer treatment is difficult, complicated, and uncertain. The vast majority of cancer doctors devote their lives to treating and helping patients to the best of their ability.
However, when doctors or oncologists misdiagnose patients by failing to follow standard protocol or by acting in a lazy, reckless or careless fashion, the consequences for the patient can be devastating.
Why Does Cancer Misdiagnosis Happen?
- Lack of “whole patient” examination – In a rush to see as many patients as possible – or perhaps to take care of paperwork or get out of the office – a doctor may fail to examine the patient “as a whole” and thus may miss crucial clues that indicate a positive diagnosis or a resurgence of cancer thought to have been contained.
- The wrong tool for the job – Certain tools and techniques are appropriate for certain kinds of cancer diagnosis but not others. If a doctor fails to apply proper diagnostic protocol, he or she may use the wrong technology and fail to spot a scary malignant growth.
Diagnosing the wrong type of cancer – Your course of treatment depends intimately on the type of cancer you have as well as other dynamic factors such as how and where the cancer is growing.
- Diagnostic delay – Delay in proper diagnosis can stem from all sorts of factors, from logistical (e.g., your doctor just “didn’t have time” to see you) to errors of judgment (e.g., your doctor “thought you would be fine” to wait three to six months after the first signs of potential trouble).
The Next Steps to Take
If you need help understanding your rights and responsibilities under the law, connect with a West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorney at the law offices of Craig Goldenfarb.