A missed diagnosis is one of the more common medical mistakes these days, affecting tens of millions of Americans every year, but when a doctor misses cancer, the consequences can be far greater than with other diseases. Cancer under any circumstances is devastating; however, if it could have been caught and treated sooner, your options may now be limited, along with having a less favorable prognosis.
1. Stay Focused On Your Treatment
Few things are as overwhelming as a cancer diagnosis and despite the fact that a doctor missed the signs in you the first time around, your life may depend upon the strength and determination you expend on your condition now. Make treating your cancer the priority and save your energy for the things you can do to get yourself better. Survival rates are on the rise and no matter what type or stage you're dealing with, your fight needs to be your focus. While you're still going to be (rightly) angry and interested in pursuing the mistake that was made, don't neglect yourself in the process.
2. Understand The Law Protecting Patients From Misdiagnosis
The doctor that missed your cancer will be held to the same standards of every other doctor, presented with the same set of symptoms. While this is a hypothetical scenario, it serves to judge whether or not the physician treating you breached the professional standards guiding all medical practitioners. In other words, if the misdiagnosis would have likely occurred were you seen by another doctor, your case may be difficult to prove. However, the laws pertaining to breach of professional standard are complex and your particular case should be scrutinized further by a legal professional.
Doctors, although trained and dedicated to helping people, are capable of failures. They work long and tiring hours and it may have been a long time since they attended medical school, all of which can contribute to errors that otherwise would not have happened. No matter what the surrounding circumstances, your case deserves an in-dept investigation and you deserve answers.
3. Bring Your Case To A Medical Malpractice Attorney
Your case should ultimately be evaluated by a medical malpractice service. They know the laws intricately and are prepared to act on your behalf if those laws were violated. You're going to need records, X-rays, receipts, statements and other items valuable to proving your case, so be as prepared and organized as possible.
4. Put The Misdiagnosis Behind You As Quickly As Possible
If your case is accepted by the lawyer(s), let them take over the matter completely. No matter how much you are or are not personally involved in every aspect of the proceedings, the case will be pushed forward with vigor and vengeance. They'll let you know about important dates, appearances and judgments, leaving you free to focus on your wellness. Keep the team up to date on your treatment and health, but limit the stress you're forced to endure by taking a back seat to the expertise and experience of the malpractice attorneys.
Unfortunately, doctors are only human and as such, subject to the same errors and misjudgments as everyone else, including when it comes to diagnosing life-threatening illness. It's impossible for anyone else to understand how you feel, unless they've been there, too. Fight for what you feel is right, with an experienced medical malpractice attorney by your side. Each case is a lesson learned by the medical community and hopefully, your efforts will help others, along with providing you peace of mind and just compensation.