Law Office of JoJene E. Mills, P.C.
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When doctors make mistakes

We like to think that our doctors, specialists and surgeons are perfect. We like to believe that they are incapable of making mistakes and are absolute experts in their field. The hard truth, however, is that doctors in all fields are humans. And, far from the infallible creatures that we wish them to be, they are capable of making mistakes.

Occasionally these mistakes are minor or relatively harmless. Sometimes these mistakes, such as a failure to diagnose a dangerous and deadly disease, can have devastating and even fatal consequences. This applies in particular to cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, it is critical to catch cancer in the early stages. Early detection offers a cancer patient the best chance of long-term survival and possibly a cure.

Unfortunately, cancer is not always caught in the early stages. This can happen for a host of reasons. A radiologist misses a dark spot on a mammogram; a patient has a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia, and the doctor fails to notice spots on the lungs indicating lung cancer; a dermatologist dismisses a cancerous mole as harmless and fails to take scrapings for a diagnostic biopsy.

A delayed diagnosis comes with a host of devastating consequences. A cancer patient may face expensive medical treatment that could have been avoided. For example, a study conducted by theNational Institute of Health found that it cost over 35% less to treat early stage patients with oral and pharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (aka cancer of the mouth and throat) than it did to treat those whose cancer was detected in the later stages. And financial costs do not take into account pain and suffering, lost wages and potential loss of life.

If you or a loved one has suffered the consequences of a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose, you may wish to speak with a qualified attorney to discuss whether you are eligible for compensation. While nothing can turn back the clock, a financial award from a medical malpractice suit can help defray expensive medical costs and help ensure you can afford the best treatment possible.

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