Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer and Stroke In New Jersey

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When someone we love is diagnosed with cancer, our world stops spinning. We feel helpless, angry, sad, anxious, afraid, frustrated and confused. And while there is no cure for cancer, there are things we can do to help make sure our loved ones survive. Unfortunately, sometimes people don't know what they're doing wrong, or how to ask for help. This is why it's important to talk about cancer and seek medical attention immediately. But even if you've done everything right, a doctor might still miss something

If you suspect you have cancer, you must tell your doctor. He or she will perform additional testing to confirm the diagnosis.

Delayed Medical Diagnosis In The NJ Healthcare System

Our team of experienced medical malpractice lawyers can explain your options and help you navigate the legal system when handling a delayed diagnosis of cancer and strokes. At Garden State Justice Group, we believe everyone deserves access to quality healthcare. We want to ensure that our clients receive the care they deserve and that they are treated fairly under the law.

"Trust us with your claim. You won't regret it." - Shane Sullivan Esq.

How Common Is Failure to Diagnose Cancer in New Jersey?

The number of deaths caused by failure to diagnose cancer in the United States each year exceeds those caused by automobile accidents, heart disease, and AIDS combined. In addition, while some types of cancer can be cured, others cannot. For example, there is no known cure for metastatic melanoma, which accounts for about 80% of skin cancer deaths. However, if diagnosed early enough, treatment can increase the five-year survival rate from 10% to over 90%.

  • Early stage 5-year survival for breast cancer is 94%
  • Colon cancer is 91%,
  • Prostate cancer is 87%
  • Lung cancer is 47%
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Malpractice Can Cost You Time in Your Battle Against Cancer - We Want To Help

Cancer begins when cells in our bodies begin growing uncontrollably. While there are different types of cancer, most start in one of three places — inside the skin, in organs such as the lungs, breast, prostate, colon or ovaries; or in tissue lining the digestive tract. In some cases, doctors misdiagnose cancer because they don't do enough testing or miss symptoms entirely. A delayed diagnosis of cancer can mean less effective treatments, longer recovery times, and even worse outcomes.

When doctors or other medical professionals fail to detect cancer earlier, the disease progresses faster and becomes harder to treat. This can lead to more aggressive forms of cancer, making treatment more difficult.

According to the National Cancer Institute, "A missed cancer diagnosis usually happens because a physician doesn't ask about certain signs or symptoms, or fails to perform tests needed to identify cancer." To ensure you're receiving the best possible care, here are some things you should know about being diagnosed with cancer:

  1. Be aware of common signs and symptoms. If you notice any changes in your body or feel unwell, it's important to tell your doctor immediately. This is especially true if you have a family history of cancer or other health conditions that increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer.
  2. Get tested regularly. It's also important to get screened for cancer at least once every three years. You can do this by having a physical exam, getting a test called a PAP smear (for cervical cancer), or having a mammogram or colonoscopy. These tests will help detect cancer early when it's easier to treat.
  3. Know what to expect after treatment. Cancer treatments can be very effective, but they come with side effects. Be sure to ask your doctor about these potential problems before starting treatment. 

When Is A Missed Or Delayed Diagnosis Malpractice?

Medical malpractice cases can arise out of missed diagnoses, delayed diagnoses, improper treatment, medical errors, substandard treatment, or other types of medical negligence. A diagnosis error occurs when a doctor fails to correctly identify a disease or injury. This could occur because the doctor didn't properly examine the patient, or because he or she didn't follow up with further testing once a preliminary diagnosis had been reached. A delay in diagnosis happens when a physician doesn't diagnose the illness within a reasonable amount of time.

In addition to being negligent, doctors must also comply with certain statutory requirements when providing healthcare. These rules are known as statutes of limitations, and they vary depending on the state. Statutes of limitation require plaintiffs to file suit within a specified period of time after the alleged malpractice occurred. They protect physicians from having to defend against stale lawsuits brought long after the events giving rise to the lawsuit took place.

Types of Delayed Diagnosis & False Diagnosis

Research indicates that there has recently been an increase in false diagnoses of cancer. In fact, according to research conducted by the National Cancer Institute, there have been significant increases in the rates of false positive diagnostic tests for three specific cancers: lung cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer, all of which are very common types of cancer. These numbers are based on data collected over the course of 5 years, from 2010 to 2015.

What exactly constitutes a false positive test? For example, a patient might receive a mammogram during a routine checkup, and the technician finds something suspicious, leading her to recommend further testing. If the patient later receives a biopsy, and it turns out that she did not have cancer, but rather a benign cyst, the technician could be considered to have performed a false positive test.

There are multiple reasons why people make false diagnoses. Some doctors simply lack training on how to properly diagnose certain diseases. Others don’t want to spend the time required to find the correct answer. Still others believe that patients are lying to them because they do not want to undergo the surgery or radiation therapy needed to treat their disease.

Stroke Misdiagnosis & Negligence Lawyers

A stroke is one of the most devastating medical conditions. Strokes are often caused by blockages in the arteries that supply blood to the brain. These blockages cause blood to clot within the artery walls and prevent oxygen-rich blood from reaching the brain, resulting in brain injury. In some cases, strokes occur without warning symptoms such as sudden numbness in the face, arm, leg, or body. Other times, people experience unusual weakness in their limbs, difficulty speaking or understanding speech, dizziness, confusion, loss of balance, vision changes, headache, or trouble breathing.

If you suspect you're suffering from a stroke, it's important to seek immediate medical attention. Unfortunately, many people do not recognize the signs of a stroke because the symptoms can vary widely depending on where the stroke occurs in the brain. For example, a person experiencing a stroke in his or her left hand might initially think he or she is having a heart attack. This is why it is essential to see a doctor immediately upon noticing any of the above symptoms. If left untreated, it can cause a variety of long-term health issues and impairments with a few of the most common ones being oxygen deprivation, cerebral palsy, and brain damage.

After being diagnosed with a stroke, there are several things you can do to improve your chances of recovery.

  • First, you'll want to make sure you receive prompt emergency care. You should go directly to the nearest hospital emergency room or urgent care center.
  • Second, you'll want to contact your primary physician to discuss whether you should undergo additional testing or evaluation.
  • Third, you'll want to follow up with your primary physician to make sure you don't develop another stroke.
  • Fourth, you'll want to learn how to manage your risk factors for future stroke episodes.
  • Finally, you'll want to talk to a medical malpractice lawyer about filing a personal injury lawsuit against the healthcare provider responsible for diagnosing and treating your stroke.

If you think you have been misdiagnosed for an acute stroke, suffered due to delayed stroke diagnoses, or there are signs of medical malpractice under the care of your physician, please contact our law firm today. We offer free case evaluation and consultations.

What Is A Stroke? 

Strokes are usually caused by blood clots blocking blood flow to part of the brain, causing it to die. This happens because the clot blocks off the supply of oxygenated blood to the brain.

Common Types Of Strokes

There are several types of strokes, including:

  • Ischemic stroke – This type of stroke is caused by a blood clot that completely obstructs a vessel supplying blood to part of the brain. Symptoms include sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the face, arm, or leg; trouble speaking or understanding speech; confusion; dizziness; vision problems; double vision; and severe headaches.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke – A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts within the brain. This causes bleeding into the brain tissue, resulting in swelling and damage. Common signs of a hemorrhagic stroke include sudden onset of a headache followed by vomiting, seizures, or loss of consciousness.
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA) – A TIA is similar to a heart attack, except that the cause is temporary rather than permanent. During a TIA, there is a brief interruption in blood flow to the brain, often due to a blocked blood vessel. Symptoms include sudden weakness, numbness, or visual disturbances lasting less than 24 hours.
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) – An SAH occurs when a ruptured blood vessel leaks blood under the surface of the brain. This leads to serious complications such as death. Signs of an SAH include sudden, severe headache, nausea, blurred vision, and neck pain.
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) – An ICH is a hemorrhage inside the brain itself. While most cases of ICH are caused by hypertension, some occur spontaneously without warning. Symptoms include sudden weakness on one side of the head, slurred speech, drowsiness, difficulty walking, or inability to move parts of the body.
  • Cerebellum hemorrhage – A cerebellum hemorrhage occurs when a small amount of blood leaks out of the tiny vessels in the lining of the brain. This type of stroke affects balance and coordination. Symptoms include unsteady gait, vertigo, tremors, and loss of bladder control.

What To Do After A Stroke Misdiagnosis

Injury from a stroke can cause sudden and devastating physical, emotional, and economic hardships for an injured patient and their family members. A recent study found that nearly half of people admitted to the hospital following a stroke did not receive a diagnosis within 24 hours of admission. These types of emergency room errors can lead to long-term health problems such as cognitive impairment and depression.

During this period, it is difficult to consider seeking legal assistance, but there are time limitations for filing claims against health care providers. In some cases, you will need the compensation you deserve as soon as you can.

 You might be able to recover damages for:

  • Long-Term Care Expenses
  • Rehabilitation Costs
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Earning Capacity

If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries or even death because of the failure to prevent stroke or the failure to timely recognize or treat a stroke or cancer, you could be eligible to seek financial compensation with help from an experienced lawyer.

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This website is by DiLeonardo Law LLC d/b/a Garden State Justice Group. We have offices throughout the state of New Jersey with attorneys licensed to practice law in New Jersey. Use of this site does not form an attorney-client relationship and information herein shall not be construed as legal advice. This website is to be considered as ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. Past settlement and verdict values are no guarantee of similar future outcomes. This firm may retain local counsel for prosecuting cases. Results may vary from case to case depending on the specific circumstances of the case. This website has not been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
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