Cancer is a leading cause of death in America. As devastating as a cancer diagnosis is, however, a misdiagnosis is even worse, as it can lead to incorrect or delayed treatment. And a timely diagnosis of cancer is crucial to the commencement of treatment.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of death due to cancer in the United States. Lung cancer is also the most frequently misdiagnosed cancer. Of the more than 209,000 diagnoses for lung cancer each year, 156,950 result in death. Although early detection does improve survival rates, treatment rates are low.
This type of cancer is difficult to detect, as there are few symptoms until the late stages. It is frequently confused with other conditions, as the symptoms mimic those of COPD, pneumonia, asthma and bronchitis. A patient’s medical history will indicate a high risk for developing this type of cancer if it runs in their family, or if the patient was a smoker or inhaled second-hand smoke.
A lung cancer diagnosis
The three types of lung cancer are:
- Non-small cell, making up 85% of lung cancers
- Small cell or oat cell, which account for 10 to 15% of lung cancers
- Lung carcinoid tumor, affecting less than 5% of patients
Although the third type of lung cancer does not spread, the other types often spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, adrenal glands, liver and brain.
Doctors can detect lung cancer if there are symptoms during a physical exam or through a chest x-ray, biopsies and bronchoscopies. Some of the symptoms of late-stage lung cancer are:
- Chronic, persistent cough
- Headaches or chest pain
- Shortness of breath, wheezing or hoarseness
- Coughing up blood
Medical malpractice in Oregon
Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and malpractice suits for misdiagnosis of cancer of the lung rank fourth in the nation. In a malpractice suit in Oregon, there are strict procedures mandated by state law in the initial investigation by the Oregon Medical Board, expert witnesses, timely filings and a knowledge of damage caps and statutes of limitation.
If you are filing a claim for medical malpractice in Portland, it is essential to have an experienced and knowledgeable legal advocate who will help you fight for you rights if you or a loved one is suffering from an error in diagnosis or treatment.