Can I Sue For Medical Malpractice For A Cancer Misdiagnosis?


Many people are misdiagnosed each year in the U.S. When a doctor misdiagnoses cancer, the potential harm can be serious. Most types of cancer are much easier to treat when they are detected early. When a doctor misdiagnoses cancer, it can result in a worsening of the disease and delayed treatment. Cancer misdiagnoses can result in serious injuries or death. People who have been harmed by a doctor’s misdiagnosis of cancer have the right to pursue medical malpractice claims to seek the recovery of compensation for their economic and noneconomic losses. If cancer is not properly diagnosed, it might worsen to a point at which it cannot be effectively treated. Certain types of undiagnosed cancer can quickly metastasize and spread throughout the body. If your cancer was misdiagnosed, or you lost your loved one following a delayed cancer diagnosis, you should speak to the malpractice lawyers in Philadelphia at Raynes & Lawn as soon as possible.

The Importance Of Early Detection Of Cancer

For most types of cancer, early detection and treatment are critical. When people are diagnosed when their cancer is in an early stage, they have a much greater chance of surviving. Many treatments for cancer are also more effective before cancer cells spread through the body. The following types of cancer respond well to early treatment:

  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Non-small cell cancer

Some types of cancer have a poor chance of survival no matter when they are diagnosed, including pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, and small lung cell cancer.

Since many types of cancer respond well to early treatment, getting diagnosed early is the key to preventing death or debilitating conditions. Unreasonable diagnostic delays can lead to unnecessary treatment, a lower chance of survival, and added costs. If a doctor fails to identify the symptoms that would lead a similarly situated doctor in the same practice area with a similar level of knowledge and experience to diagnose cancer, the patient might be entitled to pursue a cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit.

Why Cancer Misdiagnoses Occur

Detecting cancer early is crucial for patients so that they will have a better chance of recovery. Unfortunately, however, cancer misdiagnoses are fairly common. Some of the reasons why cancer might be misdiagnosed include the following:

  • Failing to review the family history of patients
  • Dismissing cancer symptoms as being caused by a less serious condition
  • Failing to order appropriate and reliable tests
  • Failing to order tests that could rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms
  • Failing to follow the standard timeline to promptly diagnose cancer

Why Cancer Misdiagnoses Occur

Some doctors and pathologists might not pay attention to rare types of cancer, which can increase the risk that patients with rare types of cancer might experience delays in diagnosis and treatment. Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed types of cancer include the following:

  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Colorectal cancer

Can I Sue For A Misdiagnosis of Cancer?

Your ability to sue for a cancer misdiagnosis will depend on whether your doctor’s care fell below the expected standard of care for other doctors in the same geographic area with the same level of experience and skill. The misdiagnosis must also have caused your injuries, and you must have sustained calculable losses. Pennsylvania requires medical malpractice plaintiffs to have their claims reviewed by medical experts before they can file lawsuits. You will need to file a certificate with your lawsuit certifying that a medical expert has reviewed it and can opine that the doctor’s care fell below the standard of care and caused your injuries.

Because of the complexities involved with medical malpractice lawsuits, it is best to retain an experienced malpractice lawyer. The lawyers at Raynes & Lawn work closely with medical experts to help build the strongest possible cases on behalf of our clients. Your lawyer can help you obtain all of the relevant medical records and evaluate whether they show that your cancer was present at the time of your misdiagnosis and that the doctor’s actions rose to the level of medical malpractice. We will honestly assess the viability of your claim and help you understand your legal options and the potential remedies that might be available. Call us today at 1-800-535-1797 to request a free consultation.


For the general public:  This Blog/Website is made available by the law firm publisher, Raynes & Lawn, for educational purposes. It provides general information and a general understanding of the law but does not provide specific legal advice. By using this site, commenting on posts, or sending inquiries through the site or contact email, you confirm that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog/Website publisher. The Blog/Website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.

For attorneys:  This Blog/Website is informational in nature and is not a substitute for legal research or a consultation on specific matters pertaining to your clients.  Due to the dynamic nature of legal doctrines, what might be accurate one day may be inaccurate the next. As such, the contents of this blog must not be relied upon as a basis for arguments to a court or for your advice to clients without, again, further research or a consultation with our professionals.