Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawsuits: Understanding Your Legal Options By Foley Law Firm on May 31, 2024

Hospital patient

When illnesses and diseases develop, prompt diagnosis and care are often essential to treating the condition before it worsens. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis is one of the most common forms of medical malpractice. Medical professionals frequently ignore warning signs, neglect to order diagnostic tests, or make errors that result in misdiagnosis.

Misdiagnosis can have physical, emotional, and financial consequences. Lung cancer is a commonly misdiagnosed disease. Due to its progressive nature, lung cancer misdiagnosis can be particularly catastrophic. The medical malpractice lawyers at the Foley Law Firm, which serves Scranton, Stroudsburg, and Wilkes-Barre, PA, help lung cancer misdiagnosis victims understand their legal options when filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Lung Cancer Warning Signs

In most cases, lung cancer does not cause symptoms until the disease has spread and progressed. However, some patients experience early lung cancer warning signs. Some of the most frequently reported lung cancer symptoms include:

  • Persistent cough
  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain that worsens with deep breathing or coughing
  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored phlegm
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss

Any potential lung cancer symptoms should be reported to a doctor immediately because early detection is vital to diagnosing and treating lung cancer.

Common Types of Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis

One of the reasons that lung cancer is routinely misdiagnosed is that its symptoms are similar to those of other illnesses and diseases. When a patient is relatively young and healthy, medical professionals tend to assume that symptoms indicate a less serious condition than a potentially fatal one like cancer. Some of the illnesses and diseases that lung cancer patients may be misdiagnosed with include:

  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • COVID-19
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Cystic lung diseases
  • Heart diseases

The only way for medical professionals to accurately diagnose lung cancer is by performing the necessary tests. Lung cancer diagnosis requires imaging tests (chest x-ray, CT scan, MRI scan, etc.), lab procedures (to test fluids surrounding the lungs), or biopsy.

Causes of Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis

Lung cancer is one of the most frequently misdiagnosed forms of cancer. In many cases, misdiagnosis causes patients to miss a critical window of treating the disease in its earliest stages. Lung cancer misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis are often the result of medical malpractice. Errors and neglect that may cause lung cancer misdiagnosis include:

  • Dismissal of reported patient symptoms
  • Failure to order appropriate diagnostic tests
  • Testing errors
  • Misreading of test results
  • Failure to communicate test results
  • Delay in referring the patient to a specialist

Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

All medical professionals are responsible for delivering care that meets the accepted standard. When a medical professional is neglectful or delivers care that falls short of what the patient could expect from a similarly trained medical professional and the patient suffers losses, they can file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

A medical malpractice lawsuit allows injured parties to hold liable medical professionals accountable for economic and non-economic losses. Damages that may be awarded in a medical malpractice lawsuit include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages or diminished wage-earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death losses (if misdiagnosis results in the patient’s death)

Contact Us

Misdiagnosis can have catastrophic or fatal consequences. If you or a loved one has suffered advanced stages of lung cancer due to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. To learn more about your legal options, contact our law firm at your earliest convenience to schedule a case review.

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