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Lawsuit: Doctors failed to diagnose man's cancer

One of the most critical steps in effective medical care is the diagnosis. Once physicians can accurately identify and confirm the injury or illness from which a patient is suffering, they can get that person on a treatment plan. Generally speaking, the sooner a medical condition is treated, the better.

That is why it can be so devastating when doctors in Albuquerque fail to make an accurate or timely diagnosis. Without knowing what is wrong, how can the condition be treated effectively? Whether a diagnosis is wrong or delayed because of a faulty test, poorly trained physician or negligent hospital, it can have a devastating effect on patients and their families. In these situations, it may be appropriate to take legal action. This is what one woman in another state is doing after her husband recently passed away from cancer.

According to the lawsuit the widow filed, her husband went into the hospital after he started experiencing some shortness of breath and a cough. A CT scan was ordered, but when it came back, radiologists apparently couldn't agree on a diagnosis. However, the fact that it could be cancer was never discussed.

Sadly, in the two years after the initial misdiagnosis, cancer was spreading throughout the man's body and he passed away from metastatic carcinoma. 

The widow filed a lawsuit against the radiologists and their employer, a radiology company, saying that they were negligent in diagnosing the man. Had they initially and accurately diagnosed the man with cancer, he could have started treatment immediately. If he had gotten the care he needed, it is possible that he could still be alive. 

Misdiagnoses, especially those that involve cancer, can be devastating. When cancer is diagnosed accurately and early, they outlook could still be very good for patients who begin treatment sooner, rather than later. But the longer the condition goes untreated and unidentified, the more likely it may be that the situation is irreversible. Victims of a missed or delayed diagnosis and their families should remember, however, that they have the right to hold negligent parties accountable for their mistake. While money cannot undo an unfortunate event, it can help by compensating people for the physical, financial and emotional damages.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Widow says radiologists made wrong diagnosis," Melody Dareing, March 7, 2014

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