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Delayed or misdiagnosis contributes to cancer-related death


Cancer is a life-threatening disease that continues to bring fear to Americans, including those in New Haven, Connecticut. However, some experts suggested that early detection of cancer may increase the chance of survival. This might be possible if a doctor diagnoses the potential cancer in time.

According to sources, delayed diagnosis of cancer may result from a lot of contributing factors. Three of those factors deserve deliberate action from the physician. These factors include symptoms similar to common ailments, unusual symptoms, and system delay. An expert said that symptoms of fatal cancers are similar to the symptoms of common ailments.

Some doctors interprete symptoms as coincidental or irrelevant to a potential cancer, particularly if the diagnostic result does not match with other cancer patients. The linear diagnostic process that doctors learn in medical school prevents them from performing more tests on unusual symptoms.

For example, a high school athlete continued to complain his joint and muscle pain. His doctor interprete those symptoms as a sports injury. Unfortunately, the patient later learned that those symptoms were due to Ewing Sarcoma, which resulted in the death of the patient within two years.

A diagnosis is an important step in treating a patient accurately and efficiently. Any error or delay in diagnosis could profoundly affect a patient, particularly if it is cancer that goes undetected. Delayed diagnosis of cancer may lead to a patient's worsened condition, complications, and ultimately death. In such a case, delayed diagnosis may prompt a medical malpractice claim against the doctors and the hospital. The claim may not only recover the compensation for damages, but also improve the quality of health service.

Source: Huffington Post, "When Seeking a Diagnosis, 'Zebra Roulette' Is No Game," Deborah J. Cornwall, Feb. 26, 2014

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