The Importance of a Proper and Timely Diagnosis

The Importance of a Proper and Timely Diagnosis

Making the appropriate diagnosis as soon as possible is critical in treating any serious medical condition. The failure to diagnose and treat a condition right away can reduce the possibility of a good outcome, and limit a patient's ability to make a fully recovery. In certain situations, the failure to properly diagnose a condition may be considered medical malpractice. One area where a delay in diagnosis may have a serious, and catastrophic effect is the delay in diagnosis of cancer.

According to a recent report, in the last decade more than 120 cancer patients have died or left terminally ill as the result of doctors failing to pick up their disease earlier. The study found that a disproportionate number of bad cancer outcomes were the result of missed diagnoses. In fact,"Death and terminal diagnoses are over represented as an outcome of cancer ... when compared to cancer outcomes in the national population," the report says.

While most delays in patients' diagnoses were less than six months, for several others in the study the cancers went undiagnosed for more than two years. Many times, the misdiagnosis was the result of a communication error, or simply because a general practitioner failed to refer a patient to a specialist. The most frequently missed – bowel and lung cancer – two of the most deadly types of cancer. A representative noted, "Delayed diagnosis has a real impact of people's survival rate."

For more information or if you believe that you or a loved one has been harmed as the result of a delay in diagnosis of cancer please contact the experienced San Diego medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.


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