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How are cancer results misdiagnosed?

The failure to diagnose cancer in a timely manner can mean the difference between being able to treat a patient or finding out the patient is terminally ill. The time of diagnosis sometimes correlates directly with a person's chance of survival, and for that reason, the right diagnosis is necessary as soon as possible. If you've been misdiagnosed, you might be working with your attorney to obtain compensation from your medical provider. If a mistake or delay in your diagnosis took place, then you may be able to win your case.

The problem that occurs for many patients is that sometimes X-rays, mammograms or other results aren't given to a patient within a short period of time. Instead, the patient is kept waiting, and the results delay treatment. Other times, those results are misread, leading to a patient suffering from a condition when he or she thinks he or she is perfectly healthy or being treated for a disease he or she doesn't have.

Initially, a technician looks at the result of a patient's test. The results then go on to a second party, usually a radiologist, who interprets the results. The problem is that the radiologist isn't the one who presents those results to the patient.

Instead, the film is sent back, sometimes mailed with the results, to the patient's general practitioner. That practitioner must then contact the patient, get in touch and deliver the diagnosis. The delay in time between knowing something could be wrong and telling a patient is therefore delayed by several steps, and that can result in delaying a much needed treatment.

Source: FindLaw, "Failure to Diagnose Cancer," accessed Aug. 23, 2016

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