Did you know that second only to California, Florida has the highest rate of newly diagnosed cancers1 in the nation? This is likely due to the fact that 87% of all cancers in the United States occur in people 50 years or older, but even without taking age into consideration, the American Cancer Society reports that nearly 40% of all Americans will develop cancer during their lifetime. With such stunning statistics, especially in the State of Florida, undergoing comprehensive medical screenings is essential because cancer can strike unexpectedly. However, even the best of doctors may misdiagnose your initial symptoms.
Common Types of Cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute, the term “cancer”2 is defined as a series of “diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues.” Simply put, cancer can affect every cell in the body, and it causes a vast array of symptoms depending on its type and level of development. Generally, the main types of cancer are categorized as follows:
- Carcinoma: Cancer of the skin or tissues that line internal organs;
- Sarcoma: Cancer of the bones, muscle, blood vessels, or connective tissues;
- Leukemia: Cancer of the blood-forming tissues (e.g., bone marrow), and
- Lymphoma and Myeloma: Cancers of the immune system.
Once categorized, cancers are further broken down by level and type. For example, breast cancer is a type of carcinoma that affects breast tissue, and it can be diagnosed from stage “zero” to stage four, depending on a number of factors, including tumor size.
Misdiagnosed Early Stage Cancer
Doctors can easily misdiagnose early stage cancers, such as stage zero or stage one cancers, because they typically do not present with extreme symptoms. Keeping with breast cancer as an example, the following are typical early stage symptoms:
- Dimpling; and/or
- Changes in skin texture.
Depending on your age, such changes may be misdiagnosed as signs of aging, pregnancy, hormone imbalance, or external injury to a sensitive area. However, failure to screen for and properly diagnose cancer during its early and most treatable stages can be fatal. As cancer cells divide and spread rapidly throughout the body, a misdiagnosis might be even more fatal than receiving no initial diagnosis, because as symptoms worsen you may continue to attribute those symptoms to the misdiagnosed condition without seeking additional and timely medical assistance.
If you are one of the nearly 40 in 100 Americans who have suffered or currently suffer from cancer, consider whether you presented to your doctor with early symptoms that were misdiagnosed as another condition. Although we know our bodies and can generally tell when something is wrong, many physicians will not conduct early stage cancer screenings if there is a simpler diagnosis.
Contact an Experienced New Port Richey Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If you believe your cancer was misdiagnosed such that you or a loved one suffered and/or died from later stage cancer, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. The Dolman Law Group is your go-to medical malpractice firm in Florida. With experience handling cancer cases, they understand the medical complexities necessary to advocate on behalf of your rights. Call 727-853-6275 today for a free, no-risk consultation.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652