The very notion of cancer instills fear, uncertainty, and anxiety, so it is horrific to think about how often Florida health care providers commit serious diagnostic errors related to this disease. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a missed cancer diagnosis represents around 46 percent of all mistakes in ambulatory care. The most common to be misdiagnosed include lung, colorectal, prostate, and breast cancers, so it is upsetting when a patient loses precious time that could have been dedicated to treating the disease.
However, not many people realize the implications with the other extreme: A Florida health care provider issues a false-positive cancer diagnosis. Learning that you do NOT have cancer might seem like a relief, until you realize what you went through physically, financially, and emotionally. Though you should count on a Miami diagnostic errors lawyer for details, an overview of the consequences of a false-positive cancer misdiagnosis is useful
Harsh Cancer Treatment
There can be no doubt that medical researchers have made great strides with cancer care, with new breakthroughs and innovative treatments emerging rapidly. However, many of these treatment options are invasive and put serious physical strains on the body – both as the goal of treatment and as side effects. Some of the most common cancer care regimens include:
- Surgery: Any invasive procedure carries risks, including infection and issues with anesthesia. When cancer is a tumorous growth or isolated to a particular area, surgery might be the initial strategy for treatment.
- Chemotherapy: The introduction of powerful drugs is effective to kill off fast-growing cancer cells, but these medicines also affect normal, healthy cells. Chemo is most likely to damage cells in the mouth, digestive system, and reproductive system.
- Radiation Therapy: With this treatment, high-dose x-rays are aimed at cancerous cells to shrink or kill a tumor. Radiation therapy often affects the skin where the rays are directed, leading to blistering, peeling, and open sores. Overexposure can even cause burns.
Compensation is Available for False-Positive Cancer Misdiagnosis
Medical negligence is defined as a health care provider’s deviation from the relevant standard of care, as measured by what a physician with the same skills and training would do under the same circumstances. For instance, false-positive cancer misdiagnosis may be actionable if the doctor failed to order proper lab tests or screenings, or by ignoring symptoms and risk factors. In this type of medical malpractice case, a patient may qualify for such monetary damages as:
- Medical care to address side effects of cancer treatment;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress; and,
- Lost quality of life after a cancer-related diagnosis error.
A Miami Diagnostic Errors Attorney Can Provide Personalized Details
You may breathe a sigh of relief after finding out that you received a false-positive diagnosis of cancer, but the treatment experience can have long-lasting consequences. For information on recovering losses for this type of medical malpractice, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA. You can schedule a free consultation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL by calling (305) 371-6000 or visiting us online.