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Failure to diagnose cancer reduces survival chances

There are likely very few people in Massachusetts whose lives have not been impacted by cancer. Many personally suffer from some form of the disease, while others have family members or friends who have battled or are currently battling it. Unfortunately, there are those whose prognosis is grimmer because of a doctor's failure to diagnose the cancer in a timely manner.

According to the American Cancer Society, there are approximately 1.6 million people who receive a cancer diagnosis each year. Unfortunately, some organizations indicate that almost half of the people are not diagnosed until the illness has progressed. Because of this delay, their chances of survival are lessened.

In some cases, the diagnosis is delayed due to a delay in seeking treatment. However, in many, the delay is as a result of a doctor error. Either a doctor fails to accurately evaluate a person's symptoms or does not conduct appropriate screenings. There are medical standards in place that dictate the treatment of patients, and when these standards are not followed, patients suffer.

Unfortunately, a cancer diagnosis can impact both the patient as well as his or her family members. The failure to diagnose such an illness in a timely manner results in a delay in treatment and potentially increases the pain and suffering experienced for both the patient and his or her family. For victims of such medical malpractice in Massachusetts, there is legal recourse available. If negligence can be proved, these victims -- including the family members of a deceased patient -- could be awarded damages, allowing them to focus on physical and emotional recovery rather than their financial situation.

Source: syracuse.com, "Righting the Wrong: Failure to Diagnose Cancer Lawsuits", April 4, 2016

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