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False Cancer Diagnosis: Can I Sue?

False Cancer Diagnosis: Can I Sue?Although medical researchers are making constant breakthroughs in cancer detection and treatment, misdiagnosis is still incredibly common. We know that when cancer is misdiagnosed as a different illness, consequences for patients are serious, including delayed treatment, worsening disease, and severe complications. Though it is less common, when a healthy patient is diagnosed with cancer the results can be just as devastating. Needless treatment can cause severe health problems, unnecessary medical expenses, and loss of income due to inability to work.

At Buttafuoco & Associates, our cancer diagnosis lawyers serving Northern New Jersey have worked on many medical malpractice cases where medical professionals have falsely diagnosed cancer. In this article, I’ll discuss the dangers of an incorrect cancer diagnosis as well as when you have a legal case.

Dangers of False Cancer Diagnosis

In a 2017 study published in the journal Medicine, 6.5% of patients receiving a PET-CT were incorrectly diagnosed with lung cancer. While it would of course be relieving to find out that you do not have a serious disease, false positives have wide-ranging implications. For one, patients who receive a false diagnosis lose trust, and many are to seek future medical treatment, according to a 2018 study appearing in the journal Cancer.

If the false diagnosis isn’t discovered until much later, you can also experience the following:

  • Severe adverse health effects of cancer treatment, including unnecessary surgery and chemotherapy.
  • Medical bills from expensive treatments.
  • Lost wages while undergoing cancer treatment.
  • Severe emotional distress, which can impact your quality of life.

If you were falsely diagnosed with cancer, you may have a medical malpractice case. A Northern New Jersey cancer diagnosis lawyer can help you better understand your rights. Buttafuoco & Associates offers free consultations at 1-800-NOW-HURT.

Cancer Misdiagnosis and False Positive Results

It’s important to remember that not all false cancer diagnoses rise to the level of medical malpractice. To qualify as medical malpractice, a situation must meet certain conditions and be substantiated by specific proof. Each case is different, but generally medical malpractice cases have four elements to succeed:

  1. A medical professional treated you as a patient. Medical professionals include physicians, but also any other personnel in the medical system that contributed to your diagnosis. You can prove that a specific professional treated through medical records; while most medical providers should keep their own records, it’s always worth keeping your own copies of treatment plans, bills, lab results, and diagnoses.
  2. The treating medical professional was medically negligent. This means that a medical professional didn’t provide a reasonable standard of care. In other words, they didn’t provide a level of care that another professional reasonably would have in the same situation. This could include misreading test results or failing to order the proper tests. This possibility is why it’s important to seek a second opinion if you are diagnosed with something as serious as cancer.
  3. That medical negligence directly contributed to your misdiagnosis. The failure to provide a reasonable standard of care needs to have been a factor that led directly to your incorrect diagnosis.
  4. The medical diagnosis directly caused damages. These could include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and severe health effects of cancer treatment.

Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer

These are the basic tenets of a medical malpractice case, but what these elements look like in each case will be unique. Misdiagnosis of cancer cases are complex, and you’ll likely be up against medical provider’s malpractice insurance, which can be incredibly intimidating without proper legal representation.

At Buttafuoco & Associates, we have fought for victims in medical malpractice lawsuits for decades and will fight for you, too.

Get in touch today to get a Northern New Jersey cancer diagnosis attorney in your corner.

Call 1-800-NOW-HURT.


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