Did you know that a doctor’s mistake can lead to a later stage of cancer? It happens more than you may think. Even though cancer research has come a long way, there are still many mysteries surrounding the disease. It’s also likely that we haven’t even discovered all of the ways it can manifest itself. 

That’s why it’s so important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. In this article, you’ll learn about the risks of developing the later stages of cancer and what can lead to them.

If this happened to you because of a doctor’s mistake, you should consider contacting our wrong diagnosis lawyers here at the Doctor Lawyer Firm. We will fight for your rights and strive to make you whole again.

What Are Later Stages of Cancer?

The later stages of cancer are when the disease has spread from its original location to other parts of the body. It will have grown and become more aggressive. The symptoms may vary depending on the health history and type of cancer but usually include:

  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing up blood

It’s imperative that your doctor provides you with thorough medical care to ensure that there are no signs of cancer. But before we move on to what mistakes can lead to later stages of cancer, let’s take a moment to discuss some of the natural causes of cancer.

What Mistakes Can Lead to Later Stages of Cancer?

When we think of medical mistakes, we typically think of something that went wrong during a surgical procedure or a diagnostic test. 

But there’s another type of mistake that can have devastating consequences for patients and their families: medical errors of omission. These are errors that are rarely spoken about but can lead to long-term consequences for patients. 

These types of errors are particularly concerning because they can occur at any stage in a patient’s medical care, well before they become symptomatic.

For instance, a failure to catch a disease in its early stages may lead to a later stage of the same disease. Or, a missed opportunity to prevent a surgical complication may result in a more serious problem. And a failure to recognize or address a medical problem in its early stages can lead to a more serious medical condition down the road.

Whether it’s your doctor, nurse, or another member of the medical team, it’s important that they understand the types of medical errors that can occur and how they can affect patients.

Medical Error of Omission

In medicine, an error of omission is a medical mistake that results from a failure to diagnose a condition or perform a recommended course of action.

The concept is pretty simple: if a doctor does not order tests that are required for a specific patient, then that patient may end up with a life-threatening condition for which the doctor is not equipped to treat.

For example, a patient may present with a headache, and the doctor may fail to order an MRI or CT scan to rule out a brain tumor. In this case, the doctor has omitted a vital part of the diagnostic process.

Failure to Diagnose

There are many instances in which a doctor may fail to order a test even though it’s required for a specific diagnosis.

For instance, a patient presents with only a vague symptom that could indicate a number of conditions. If the doctor does not perform a detailed physical examination, it’s possible that the doctor could miss a life-threatening condition.

Another example is when a doctor fails to order a test after diagnosing a patient with a specific condition. If the doctor does not check for complications that may have developed during the course of the disease, then those complications could cause additional harm and prolong the patient’s stay in the hospital.

Medical Malpractice

This is a broad term that refers to any medical mistake that results in injury or death.

The American Medical Association (AMA) defines malpractice as “the negligent or wrongful act or omission of a health care professional.”

The AMA also states that malpractice consists of medical error and omission. In other words, a physician can commit malpractice by simply making a mistake while in the examination room with a patient and by omitting to do something necessary for the patient’s health.

The distinction is important because the first type of mistake can happen without maliciousness on the doctor’s part. A physician may not be aware of certain facts (for example, the location of a patient’s cervix) that can affect a diagnosis or treatment.

In contrast, the second type of mistake is usually a result of negligence. A physician may fail to do something that is necessary for the patient’s care, such as not ordering an X-ray because the physician does not believe that the patient needs it.

Late Diagnosis

This is when a patient presents with symptoms that suggest a certain condition, but the doctor is not able to make the diagnosis until weeks or months later.

For example, a patient comes to the doctor with a rash and discharge from the nose and ears. The physician may notice a ring around the collarbone and diagnose an infection, but it may take a few more visits to figure out that the patient has cancer.

In this case, the patient has presented with symptoms that suggest a certain condition, but the doctor is not able to make the diagnosis until weeks or months later.

It’s at this time that you might want to consider speaking with wrong diagnosis lawyers to get the compensation you deserve.

Is It Time to Take Legal Action?

Medical mistakes happen; it’s just a part of healthcare. But when those mistakes lead to life-threatening diseases and illnesses, you need to seek legal representation to get the compensation you deserve. 

At the Doctor Lawyer Firm, we are here to help if you or someone you know developed a later stage of cancer due to a doctor’s mistake. We invite you to get in touch with our wrong diagnosis lawyers today by calling 1-833-MedMals or completing our contact form.

The information in this blog post is for reference only and not legal advice. As such, you should not decide whether to contact a lawyer based on the information in this blog post. Moreover, there is no lawyer-client relationship resulting from this blog post, nor should any such relationship be implied. If you need legal counsel, please consult a lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.