Cancer misdiagnosis has catastrophic effects on patients and their families. Unfortunately cancer misdiagnosis can result in death to a patient leaving bereaved spouses and dependent relatives behind.
Cancer misdiagnosis can also occur when patients are not diagnosed in a timely manner and in such cases the patient may experience the late diagnosis, incorrect diagnosis or a complete failure to diagnose the cancer.
Types of cancer misdiagnosis
- Incorrect cancer diagnosis
- Delayed diagnosis of cancer
- Failure to diagnose cancer
Cancer misdiagnosis is caused by a number of factors most commonly by medical negligence. In cancer misdiagnosis cases, patients lose out on a crucial timeframe during which cancer treatment would have been most effective and as a result the patients prognosis and outcome may be much worse than if the proper treatment had been received in a timely manner.
Cancer misdiagnosis medical negligence generally arises as a result of the following errors:
- Failure to investigate or identify certain symptoms associated with cancer
- Failure to send a patient forward for appropriate cancer testing when certain symptoms or risk factors exist.
- Improperly refers a patient for a biopsy or MRI scan.
- Failure to correctly interpret or read cancer tests results provided by the testing laboratory
- Failure to investigate or acknowledge certain recommendations made by a testing laboratory
- Failure to refer a patient to a cancer oncologist in cases where the general practitioner or doctor lacks the appropriate skills or expertise to deal with the patient’s symptoms
- Failure to adapt the correct procedures and processes warranted by the patient’s symptoms
- Failure to provide proper follow-up care for treatment assessment