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Long Island Attorneys Experienced in Assisting Victims of Medical Negligence
At Duffy & Duffy, our medical negligence lawyers understand the trust that residents of Long Island and other New York communities place in their doctors. Screening for breast cancer or any other type of cancer and accurately assessing signs of the disease are vital responsibilities of the health care professionals you visit. However, in some cases, health care professionals may ignore patients’ complaints or inaccurately read the results of the screening tests of x-rays, providing a patient with a false sense of security about his or her health. Failure to act within the standard of care for a health care professional and causing injury to a patient constitutes medical malpractice. Our Long Island attorneys can help you take action if your health care provider was negligent in diagnosing cancer or treating it.
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Failure to Diagnose or Treat Cancer
Often, the key to obtaining the best possible outcome with cancer is early detection and diagnosis. Treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery give great hope to cancer patients whose condition is caught early enough for these remedies to be effective. In the past few years, a campaign to educate the public about early warning signs and symptoms of cancer has been fairly successful. Unfortunately, errors by health care professionals still present a barrier to receiving a diagnosis and timely treatment.
All health care professionals should evaluate patients who have specific risk factors for certain types of cancer including breast cancer and colon cancer. Most doctors are trained to conduct a differential diagnosis. This means that they list in order of danger to the patient their impressions or possible diagnoses of the causes of a patient’s symptoms. Patients who present with certain symptoms should be given diagnostic tests and procedures to rule out cancer.
When a doctor fails to diagnose cancer, it becomes critical to ask what diagnoses a reasonably prudent doctor in the same or similar circumstances would have considered when listing potential causes for the symptoms. When a doctor failed to consider the true diagnosis or listed it but failed to rule it out, and a reasonably prudent physician with the same knowledge and training would not have done the same, the doctor may be sued for medical malpractice. He or she can potentially be liable for any injury or progression of cancer beyond what would have resulted from a timely diagnosis.
It can be difficult to prove that a doctor’s failure to list or rule out a particular diagnosis is the cause of cancer spreading, or “metastatis,” or that a patient has a worse prognosis because of a delay in diagnosis. At trial, the doctor and his or her medical experts may testify that micrometastasis can occur as early as 10 years before a first tumor is diagnosed and that cancerous cells had already traveled through the blood, lodging elsewhere, by the time the patient came in to see the doctor.
Misdiagnosis or inappropriate treatment of cancer is also malpractice. It can arise when a doctor tries a new or novel treatment when a more conventional treatment would have caused the patient to improve. In those cases, the patient’s cancer may worsen to a point where no treatments are effective.
Discuss Your Malpractice Claim with a Long Island Lawyer
The medical malpractice attorneys at Duffy & Duffy are dedicated advocates for people in the Long Island area and elsewhere in New York who have suffered as a result of a health care professional’s negligence including cancer and heart attack malpractice . When you suspect that a physician has committed malpractice, you should consult with an experienced lawyer who can evaluate your case and answer your questions. You may be able to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, the cost of household services, and pain and suffering. We represent patients in the Bronx and Queens as well as other regions of New York, such as Suffolk, Nassau, and Kings Counties. Contact us by calling (516) 394-4200 or completing our online form today.
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