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Major advancements have improved treatment of various types of cancer and the life spans of those diagnosed. Cancer was once considered a death sentence, but now there is hope in treating and recovering from the disease. Early detection, however, is vital. A misdiagnosis or even a briefly delayed diagnosis can make a treatable condition untreatable.
This month is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, so we will look at some of the risks and effects of delayed diagnosis in lung cancer cases. Cancer misdiagnoses claim more than 40,000 lives per year with lung cancer being the most commonly misdiagnosed. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States.
Lung cancer does not refer to just one disease. It can be subcategorized into small cell lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, large cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and lung carcinoid tumors.
Smoking is the most common risk for developing lung cancer, however, genetics, asbestos exposure, and radon gas exposure can all play a roll.
Often, lung cancer is misdiagnosed at first because many of the early signs overlap with other conditions. Some of the most common conditions that lung cancer is mistaken with include: tuberculosis, pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, COPD, acid reflux, encysted lung effusion, Gastroesophageal Reflux disease, lung abscesses, lung nodules, lymphoma, pulmonary embolism, and Thoracic Hodgkin disease.
Diagnosis for lung cancer can be incorrect, delayed, or completely missed. When any of these happen, the chances of recovering or surviving drop significantly. A delayed lung cancer diagnosis can be a form of medical malpractice. If your doctor was aware of your symptoms but failed to properly diagnose you for a long period of time, you may have a medical malpractice claim, particularly if you are diagnosed in an advanced stage.
For more information or to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced lawyer regarding delayed or misdiagnosed cancer in West Virginia, please contact us at 304-367-1862.