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If you’ve been diagnosed and treated for cancer only to find out that you were misdiagnosed and improperly treated, or if you find out that you have cancer but it’s too late to treat it, you should seek advice from an attorney that handles cases of misdiagnosed cancer right away. Each year approximately 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer, and thousands of those people are misdiagnosed. Cancer misdiagnosis can mean that you are diagnosed with one type of cancer when you actually have a different type. Misdiagnosis can also include failure to diagnose, meaning you are told that the symptoms you are experiencing are the result of a disease other than cancer, when it actually is cancer. In the worst of cases, a misdiagnosis can mean you are told you have cancer when you actually do not.
There are many different types of cancer that people can be diagnosed with. The most common forms of cancer that are misdiagnosed are lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, melanoma, rectal cancer and brain cancer. Each of these cancers is treated differently, and misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose in time, can result in life-long damages. For example, misdiagnosed breast cancer can result in an unnecessary mastectomy, which can leave permanent scars and require major plastic surgery to fix; misdiagnosed prostate or ovarian cancer can lead to an irreversible inability to reproduce; misdiagnosed lung, colon, or rectal cancer can lead to vital organs being removed for no reason, misdiagnosed melanoma can result in unnecessary and permanent scarring; and misdiagnosed brain cancer can lead to permanent and unalterable brain damage. For all of these cancers, failure to correctly diagnose the proper type of cancer can be fatal.
Treatment for cancer is often both extremely expensive and extremely invasive. Chemotherapy can cause anemia, fatigue, hair loss, increased chance of bruising, bleeding or infection, fevers, loss of breath, severe nausea and vomiting, mental cloudiness, nerve and muscle damage and kidney problems. Radiation therapy has many of the same side effects as chemotherapy, and can also cause irritated and blistered skin that can leave permanent scars. Surgery is another common cancer treatment that can cause permanent scarring or disfigurement, as well as any other side effects associated with surgery. Each of these side effects can be extremely painful and can cause lasting emotional and physical damage, but the hope of cure can be a shining light at the end of the tunnel.
There are many types of cancer and no two cases present in exactly the same way, but the success of treatment generally depends on how early the disease is diagnosed and how quickly treatment begins. When cancer is misdiagnosed, the treatment provided might be the incorrect treatment for the correct type of cancer and can result in a more difficult course of treatment for the patient. The delay in proper treatment can cause a treatable cancer to metastasize and come untreatable. In the worst of cases, treatment can be provided for no reason at all.
At Cohen & Cohen P.C. we represent individuals and families whose loved ones have been misdiagnosed. We understand how serious these cases are, and bring all our passion and experience to fight for the victims to recover for the added medical expenses, pain, shock, and anguish associated with misdiagnosed cancer or the failure to diagnose cancer. If you or a loved one has been misdiagnosed with cancer in Washington, DC, Maryland, or Virginia, call and speak with one of our attorneys today.