Failure to Diagnose Cancer

Many victims of cancer contemplate or question the time frame within which they were diagnosed with cancer and the dates or time of treatment with different medical professionals. Those individuals concerned with whether their condition was timely diagnosed and treated should understand that a physician is held to a negligence standard which requires that he or she exercise reasonable care, skill, and diligence commensurate with accepted standards of similar medical care providers in the medical community.

Often results of x-rays, CAT Scans or mammograms are not timely and properly communicated to the patient. A family physician, pulmonary or gynecological specialist may refer a patient to a radiologist for a diagnostic study. The film is often taken at a facility by a technician who then provides the film to a radiologist at the facility. The radiologist may interpret the film as positive for an abnormality or suspicious and recommend follow-up, further studies or treatment.

However, in the majority of cases, the radiologist does not communicate those results to a patient. Rather, the general practice is to send a report of the film results to the referring physician by mail. Unfortunately, results are sometimes never communicated or provided to the patient belatedly. Delays may lead to a worsening of one's condition. The delay may seriously affect a patient's chance of survival.

Quite often films are misread and pathology overlooked with no procedure in place to provide additional screening or interpretation. Another unfortunate scenario occurs when a diagnostic study reveals a problem and the patient is referred to a specialist or surgeon who misinterprets the study or fails to follow the recommendation of the radiologist.

These problems do occur, especially with patients at very busy facilities or practices. If you believe that you or a loved one may have had cancer diagnosed belatedly please contact us. A physician's conduct in failing to timely recognize, diagnose, and treat cancer may rise to the level of negligence. If negligent, the physician is liable for any damages suffered as a result of the lost chance of survival. To schedule a consultation call the Law Offices of GARY D. GINSBERG at (609) 727-1991.