Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer
Baltimore Firm With Over $700 Million Recovered
Cancer and prognoses depend on the type of cancer and the individual patient. However, all types of cancer require a correct and timely diagnosis. Timely treatment may dramatically reduce morbidity and mortality.
For example, patients with ovarian cancer have a survival rate of over 85 percent when the cancer is diagnosed at stage I. Yet, the rate of survival drops to less than 20 percent when the cancer is not diagnosed until stage IV. Similarly, early-stage prostate cancer patients have a 5-year survival rate of 100 percent, whereas late-stage prostate cancer patients have a 5-year survival rate of only 31 percent. For breast cancer, the survival rate for cancer diagnosed at stage I is 88 percent; far better than a survival rate of only 15 percent at stage IV.
The key to an improved prognosis is an accurate and timely cancer diagnosis.
What Causes a Delayed Cancer Diagnosis?
When dealing with cancer, it is especially important to have a timely diagnosis so treatment options can be considered and instituted in a way that will provide the patient with the best possible chance for remission.
To provide the patient with a timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment, the physician must adequately examine the patient. Healthcare providers should listen to the patient's concerns about any symptoms they are experiencing and make reasonable efforts to diagnose the cause of these symptoms.
If a physician does not adequately examine the patient and does not provide reasonable follow-up, the patient may have a claim for delayed cancer diagnosis. The healthcare provider's failure to adequately consider the patient's symptoms frequently stems from a poor understanding of the cancer involved.
A delay in diagnosis may also occur if the healthcare provider misinterprets the results of diagnostic tests and/or fails to disclose the information about the results to the patient or other relevant healthcare providers. Finally, a delay in diagnosis may also occur when the healthcare provider fails to make a timely and appropriate referral to a specialist.
Symptoms of Cancer
Each form of cancer has its own constellation of symptoms. Additionally, cancer symptoms may be patient-specific. However, some symptoms are common to most types of cancers.
These may include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Fatigue (extreme fatigue that does not get better with rest)
- Skin changes
- Change in bowel habits or bladder function
- Sores that do not heal
- White patches inside the mouth or white spots on the tongue
- Unusual bleeding or discharge
- Thickening or lump in the breast or other parts of the body
- Indigestion or trouble swallowing
- Recent change in a wart or mole or any new skin change
- Nagging cough or hoarseness
Additionally, there are some symptoms that are common to certain cancers.
- Upset stomach
- Back pain
- Pain during sex
- Menstrual changes
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
- Urinary symptoms (including urgency or frequency)
- Slow or weakened urinary stream (more likely to be caused by non-cancer diseases of the prostate)
- Need to urinate more frequently (more likely to be caused by non-cancer diseases of the prostate)
- Blood in urine
- Pain in hips, back, spine, ribs, chest
- Weakness or numbness in legs and feet
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- New lump or mass
- Swelling of the breast
- Breast or nipple pain
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- Nipple retraction
- Redness or thickening of nipple or breast skin
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk
- Lump or swelling in the underarm or at the collarbone
Why Turn to Murphy, Falcon & Murphy?
We provide our clients with flexible, innovative legal solutions that meet their needs. Most people forego their right to take their doctors to trial because they believe a medical malpractice lawyer in Baltimore is out of their reach. At Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, we provide access to justice for all people.
Clients turn to Murphy, Falcon & Murphy for what we have accomplished:
- More than $700 million secured for plaintiffs
- Successful defense of globally-recognized clients
- $7 million settlement against a negligent hospital
- $4 million settlement against a staff that caused a birth injury
- Numerous multi-million dollar results for complex, highly difficult cases
Our firm has built a national reputation on our relentless fighting spirit and our unwillingness to let wrongdoing go undiscovered. Our diverse group of attorneys works together to handle our clients' cases, pooling decades of combined experience in law, medicine, science, investigation, and more.
If you believe your cancer may have been misdiagnosed, call us at 410.983.6266.