Columbia Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer

If you visit your physician with unexplained symptoms like fatigue or changes in appetite, you naturally expect your medical care team to diagnose and treat the illness properly. However, when a misdiagnosis occurs and any type of cancer goes untreated, it can shorten your life and devastate your family.

When you want to file a cancer malpractice case in Columbia, SC, and need legal assistance, our team at Rikard & Protopapas can pair you with an experienced Columbia medical misdiagnosis lawyer to help you fight for the compensation you and your family deserve.

Cancer Misdiagnosis in the United States

Each year in the United States, doctors misdiagnose almost half the cases of some cancer types. Certain types of cancer get misdiagnosed more often than others, including:

  • Breast cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Liver or bile duct cancer

A misdiagnosis puts you at severe risk, as untreated cancer can advance quickly and cause serious physical side effects. You may begin to miss work or even lose your job due to multiple absences, and your relationship with your spouse and children can change as you deal with your symptoms.

How Misdiagnosis Occurs

Physicians fail to diagnose cancer for several reasons, all of which may result in unnecessary treatments and wasted time. Meanwhile, your undiagnosed cancer could progress and become even more serious.

Diagnostic errors

Many misdiagnosis mistakes occur due to diagnostic problems. A failure to order secondary tests, misreading scans or bloodwork results, or delaying a necessary consult can all leave your cancer improperly noticed or identified.

Lack of follow-up tests

Because of a misdiagnosis, physicians may believe follow-up scans are not needed when they miss initial cancer signs. In many cases, these tests would confirm the presence of the disease and allow doctors to begin treatment earlier.

Doctor fatigue

Physicians who take on too many patients may find themselves overworked. A lack of restorative sleep and the stress of long days may cause them to misread lab results or rush through exams.

The Most Dangerous Forms of Cancer

While some types of cancer grow slowly, others can progress within months and can soon threaten your life when a misdiagnosis occurs.

Brain cancer

While cancer in other areas of the body can spread to the brain, tumors that originate in the brain itself can grow rapidly and affect cognitive thinking, memory and motor skills. If a doctor fails to correctly diagnose brain cancer, delayed treatments may not have much effect.

Small-cell lung cancer

This lung cancer tends to spread faster than the non-small cell type, so a misdiagnosis could mean the difference between effective treatment and requiring hospice care once it progresses past the point of effective treatment. Lung cancer is among the most common, as well as the most dangerous, cancers in the United States.

Pancreatic cancer

This is one of the deadliest cancers, and its victims face a poor prognosis. In pancreatic cancer, the disease attacks the organ that produces the body’s digestive enzymes. As the cancer progresses, it can cause jaundice, bloating and poor appetite. Only a small percentage of patients survive pancreatic cancer.

Liver cancer

Cases of this cancer are on the rise in the United States. Like brain cancer, disease in the liver often occurs when cancer begins in another area of the body and spreads to the organ. Symptoms include unexplained abdominal pain, consistent fatigue and loss of appetite. Yellowing of the corneas in the eyes may also occur as liver cancer progresses.

While chemotherapy, surgery and immunotherapy may all slow cancer’s progress, treatments are targeted to a particular cancer’s type. A misdiagnosis can cause a serious delay in treatment. When this occurs, filing a case with our attorneys to recover damages can help you and your loved ones face an uncertain future with greater confidence.

Cancer Malpractice Damages

When you believe a physician misdiagnosed your cancer, our experienced malpractice attorneys can guide you through building a lawsuit and advise you concerning which damages you can collect in South Carolina.

Economic damages

A delay in cancer diagnosis can cause a variety of financial issues, especially if the cancer spreads further as you search for a new doctor or a second opinion. Our attorneys can request damages such as loss of wages, the cost of care at home and medical equipment, such as oxygen machines.

Non-economic damages

Also known as general damages, non-economic damages compensate you for ways a cancer misdiagnosis affected your physical and mental well-being. This includes disability as a result of the error, pain and suffering, and the loss of enjoyment of life.

Punitive damages

If your physician was especially negligent or careless in a cancer misdiagnosis, a South Carolina court may punish them with punitive damages. State laws allow courts to award up to three times the amount of your compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever reaches the state cap first.

How Our Columbia Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer Can Assist You

When a cancer misdiagnosis affects your family, you may not know where to turn for help. Our attorneys understand that there are many facets to this type of case and can provide you with the assistance you need.

As the plaintiff in a cancer misdiagnosis case, you carry the burden of proof that your physician failed you in several ways. You must prove:

  • The doctor failed in his or her duty of care to you.
  • The failure caused you injury.
  • The breach of care led to a worsening of your condition.

Our attorneys will investigate your case and analyze a variety of data within the timeline of your misdiagnosis, such as when the error occurred and why, how that mistake affected the spread of your cancer and to what degree your physician and any other medical personnel involved made a negligent or incorrect diagnosis.

Reach Out for Malpractice Representation Today

An incorrect or delayed South Carolina cancer diagnosis puts the quality of life and the physical health of you or a loved one at serious risk. If you believe a physician failed to correctly diagnose cancer, no matter the reason, a Columbia cancer misdiagnosis lawyer from our team at Rikard & Protopapas can help you recover compensation for your losses. Contact us online or call 803-978-6111 today for more information about our free initial consultation and how we can help you fight back against cancer malpractice.

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