Our Michigan medical malpractice attorneys represent cancer patients and their families for the misdiagnosis of, or failure to diagnose cancer. These medical mistakes cause catastrophic and often deadly harm to the patient. Many times, the disease was treatable with a promising result if the doctor provided proper care and ordered required medical tests.
The Failure to Diagnose Cancer
Early detection is vital in cancer cases. Cancer spreads rapidly and does not take long to become extremely serious. When a doctor fails to correctly diagnose cancer in a timely manner, the results can be deadly.
Doctors are required to have the experience and knowledge to identify cancer symptoms, and to perform certain tests when a patient is exhibiting those symptoms. This is so they can diagnose the condition as early as possible, and give patients their best chance of successful treatment.
When doctors fail to do so, they are considered negligent. This means they failed to provide the patient with a proper standard of care. Cancer patients that suffer harm due to a doctor’s failure to diagnose can file a medical malpractice claim.
Common Types of Cancer Misdiagnosis
A misdiagnosis can happen with any type of cancer. However, there are some types of the disease that are more commonly seen in misdiagnosis lawsuits. These include:
- Breast cancer—not diagnosing a lump in the breast or performing necessary testing, like a biopsy or mammogram. Lawsuits are also filed for mistakes in interpreting the results of these studies.
- Prostate cancer—failing to do a proper medical workup when a patient complains of symptoms, like pain when urinating or pain in the hips, back, chest, or ribs. Doctors can also miss the condition during a physical exam or fail to order necessary lab work, such as the PSA screening test.
- Esophageal cancer – diagnosing the condition as GERD or another disorder rather than recognizing the likelihood of cancer.
- Skin cancer—not ordering skin biopsies or referring the patient to a specialist, like a dermatologist, when moles or other evidence of melanoma is observable on a patient.
- Lung cancer—misdiagnosing cancer as a cough, COPD, or other condition and failing to order chest-x-rays or CT scans.
- Colon cancer—failing to order a colonoscopy and other diagnostic tests when the patient has symptoms, like pain and rectal bleeding.
- Oral cancer – ignoring visible evidence of the disease upon oral exam and not requesting a further medical workup.
Claims can also be filed for medical malpractice regarding ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, pancreatic cancer, and esophageal cancer. We have also helped with claims stemming from lymphoma, brain cancer, sarcomas, and other cancerous tumors.
Common Examples of Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawsuits
Medical mistakes that lead to a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose cancer include:
- Failing to perform or order simple and routine tests, such as blood test and radiology studies
- Misreading biopsies, ultrasounds, and other studies
- Failing to properly document the results of a test, such changes indicative of breast cancer after a mammogram
- Unreasonably delaying the ordering of tests and starting treatment
- Not communicating abnormal lab tests to the patient or primary doctor
- Choosing not to quickly refer the patient to a specialist for further evaluation
Often, a patient and family are initially relieved to learn there was no cancer found on a study or biopsy. They only later learn there was medical negligence for misdiagnosing the condition. When a diagnosis was finally made, the disease had progressed and medical treatment could no longer contain cancer.
U.S. Cancer Death Statistics
The chart below shows the number of cancer deaths in the United States from 2011-2017. The total number of cancer deaths has stayed relatively consistent, rising each year.
- 2011: 576,685
- 2012: 582,607
- 2013: 584,872
- 2014: 591,686
- 2015: 595,919
- 2016: 598,031
- 2017: 599,099
Can I Sue for Missed Diagnosis of Cancer?
To sue a doctor or clinic and win a cancer misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose lawsuit, it must be proven that:
- The medical provider was negligent for failing to diagnose or delaying the diagnosis of cancer;
- A timely diagnosis of cancer could have been initiated sooner treatment for the patient;
- If treatment had been started earlier, the outcome of the disease process would have been better.
A misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose cancer alone does not guarantee a successful lawsuit. You must prove that proper treatment would have changed the medical prognosis of the patient. With certain aggressive cancers, the outcome may have been the same even with earlier treatment.
Our law firm will get the medical records, radiology studies, and pathology slides. We will have them reviewed by the top oncologists in the United States. If these physicians determine there was medical negligence and the outcome would have been better with prompt treatment, we will file a lawsuit for you.
Types of Compensation in Malpractice Lawsuits
There are several types of compensation allowed for patients and their family members. Settlements provide compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disability, lost wages, and medical expenses for the patient.
In cases involving death, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. These cancer misdiagnosis cases often result in substantial payouts for the family. Damages include the pain and suffering of the decedent before death, the loss of income and services, and payment of medical and funeral expenses.
Time Deadlines for Filing Missed Cancer Lawsuits
The statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Michigan is generally two years from the date of the malpractice. There are only a few exceptions to this deadline. These include if the malpractice was only discovered after the two-year period or in cases involving the death of a patient. It is essential that you contact our attorneys immediately to avoid missing this unforgiving deadline.
Cancer Misdiagnosis Settlements & Jury Verdicts
The lawyers at our law firm have helped individuals who have suffered a cancer misdiagnosis receive substantial payouts.
- $4,500,000 verdict in medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit against doctors for the failure to diagnose and treat testicular cancer in a 30-year-old man. He was survived by his wife and children
- $800,000 settlement in an Oakland County wrongful death lawsuit for the failure of a physician to order follow-up testing for a 45-year-old woman with signs of cancer.
- $650,000 settlement for the wrongful death of a woman who died as a result of a toxic overdose of chemotherapy drugs.
- $625,000 settlement against a diagnostic center for failing to diagnose a cancerous tissue as malignant and the patient died as a result of this medical error.
- $550,000 settlement against a radiologist who misread a mammogram which caused a delay in diagnosis of breast cancer and an unfavorable prognosis.
- $542,000 jury verdict for a woman who underwent an unnecessary bilateral mastectomy. Her surgeon failed to review the negative lab results and performed the surgery on a woman without cancer.
- $500,000 settlement for a man against a dentist who failed to diagnose oral cancer which led to a significant progression of the disease.
- $325,000 jury verdict in Wayne County, Michigan in medical malpractice lawsuit that alleged the hospital and doctors failed to timely diagnose and treat the lung cancer. They were also negligent for failing to refer the patient for testing or biopsy of the nodule.
Contact Our Michigan Cancer Malpractice Lawyers
If you or a loved one were the victim of medical malpractice due to the failure to diagnose cancer, call us today. Our experienced cancer misdiagnosis lawyers will review your medical records to determine if you have a case. The case review is free and if we accept your case, there are no legal fees unless you receive a settlement.
It costs nothing to get started. Call us now!
- 29000 Inkster Road
Southfield, MI 48034
- Phone: (248) 595-7544
- 19 Clifford St.
Suite 805 Merchants Row
Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 992-8281
- 1001 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 777-8482
- 343 S. Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
- Phone: (734) 888-3003
- 51424 Van Dyke Ave
Shelby Township, MI 48316
- Phone: (586) 250-2626
By: Scott Bradley
Client Description: I have a spinal cord injury and due to negligence, I have long term health problems and limited use of body functions. They settled a tort claim in a very timely manner which helps me to get myself into safer living conditions and help with my future medical needs. I worked with Larry, Michael, and Randy. Michael was leading the case and took no time in negotiating my settlement in less than a week from the time the negotiation started. I can only say that I would hands down recommend them for your case. Very professional, very responsive to inquiries, and aggressive with their negotiations, and most importantly, easy to communicate with. Thank you and I will forever be grateful!
Rating: ★★★★★ 5 / 5 stars