Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Lung cancer is cancer that starts in the lungs. When people breathe, air goes through the nose, down the windpipe and into the lungs, where it spreads through tubes called bronchi. Most lung cancer begins in the cells that line these tubes. The main types of lung cancer are:
1) Non-small cell lung cancer (the most common type of lung cancer)
2) Small cell lung cancer (occurring in 20%of all lung cancer cases)
3) Squamous cell carcinoma (also called epidermoid cancer, occurring in 30% of all lung cancer cases)
Some cancers are made up of both types; such cancers are called mixed small cell/large cell cancer. Sometimes cancer that started somewhere else in the body spreads to the lungs; it is called metastatic cancer to the lung.
Lung Cancer Statistics
Lung cancer is currently responsible for 29% of cancer deaths in the United States, it is responsible for more deaths than breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer combined. Despite the fact that more women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and more men with prostate cancer, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women. In 2008, 208,493 people in the United States were diagnosed with lung cancer, including 111,886 men and 96,607 women. The same year, 158,592 people in the United States died from lung cancer, including 88,541 men and 70,051 women. The average age at which lung cancer is diagnosed is 71, with less than 3% of lung cancers diagnosed under the age of 45. It means that lung cancer does occur in young adults and even children. The overall 5-year survival rate for all stages of lung cancer is: 10.8%-13.7% for men and 14.5%-18.3% for women.
Most lung cancers are not diagnosed at an early stage, but when it has metastasized. In fact, more than 50% of lung cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage:
- 16% are diagnosed at the earliest stage;
- 25% are diagnosed after they have spread beyond the primary site to lymph nodes;
- 51% are diagnosed after they have spread (metastasized) to distant regions of the body.
Lung Cancer Causes
There are several causes of lung cancer, with smoking being the leading cause. Smoking causes lung cancer in 90% of men, and 80% of women diagnosed with the disease. Men who smoke are 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer than men who do not smoke, and female smokers are 13 times more likely to develop the disease. Even though smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, the majority of people currently diagnosed with lung cancer do not smoke: 50% of these cancers occur in former smokers, and 15% in those who have never smoked at all. Other causes of lung cancer are:
- Second-hand smoke
- Smoking marijuana (helps cancer cells grow)
- High levels of air pollution
- Drinking water containing high levels of arsenic
- A history of radiation therapy to the lungs
- Working with or near asbestos
- Working with or near chemicals such as uranium, beryllium, vinyl chloride, nickel chromates, coal products, mustard gas, chloromethyl ethers, gasoline, and diesel exhaust
- Working with or near alloys, paints, pigments, and preservatives
- Working with or near products using chloride and formaldehyde
Misdiagnosis of Lung Cancer
Many of us know of someone – a friend, a loved one, or an acquaintance where lung cancer is diagnosed later than it should have been. But sometimes the diagnosis patients trustingly receive – whether early or late – is just wrong. As with other cancers, the sooner lung cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the patient's prognosis. When a delay in diagnoses occurs, negatively affecting the patient's prognosis and treatment, there may be actionable malpractice. However, not every case of delay in diagnosis or misdiagnosis constitutes medical malpractice.
To diagnose lung cancer, a doctor should pay particular attention to enlarged lymph nodes, liver and abdomen, and other symptoms of a lung mass. It is necessary to run diagnostic tests: a chest x-ray to look for tumors or growth, a sputum test (coughing up phlegm) for lung cancer cell detection, and a spirometry (testing a patient's pulmonary function) to determine if there is an obstruction or narrowing of the airways. In addition, a biopsy may be required. After the tests and the doctor's examination of the slides confirm the diagnosis, the doctor sets up the proper course of treatment.
Lung cancer is often misdiagnosed as a benign condition, a less harmful disease, or it is not detected at all. Lung cancer misdiagnosis is the 4th most claimed malpractice injury. Doctors may diagnose a patient with chronic cough with bronchitis, without ordering the proper diagnostic test. In order to determine whether your claim is actionable, you need to speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. The Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyers at the Lassen Law Firm have handled many cases of misdiagnosis of cancer over the years and are prepared to assist you in the pursuit of the matter.
Medical Malpractice Lawyer Pennsylvania
We all know that patients place way too much trust in their physicians, surgeons, and other medical care providers. Patients believe that medical professionals have the answers and will help them alleviate their painful injuries and symptoms. However, it is important to remember that medical professionals make serious mistakes, which is why numerous misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis cases are reported every year. Medical professionals are responsible for correctly diagnosing their patients. They must monitor and treat their patients' symptoms accordingly. Failure to do so may be considered medical malpractice.
After a medical professional fails to properly diagnose their patient, and the patient is injured or develops further symptoms, the medical professional can be held liable. After a patient has been misdiagnosed, he/she is legally entitled to seek compensation from his/her doctor. A patient may seek monetary damages for his/her: medical expenses, injuries, lost wages, lost future income, physical and mental impairment, and pain and suffering. The Lassen Law Firm, Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorneys, will get you maximum compensation for your injuries.
The Lassen Law Firm only deducts a 29% contingency fee, not the standard 45% like other firms. We serve ALL of Pennsylvania. We can sign you up over the phone and start working on your case today.
Stop Searching. Start Calling. 215-510-6755.
Authored by: Christian Lassen