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Young girl in delayed diagnosis suit dies after battling cancer

Cancer in children is one of the biggest heartbreaks that can face any Texas parent. The idea of losing a child is more than most parents can bear to think about. And when it is alleged that the cancer could have been diagnosed earlier, and that if it had been the child might have lived, the situation becomes even more tragic.

A young girl in Minnesota recently passed away after battling a rare cancer called alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. The girl showed symptoms of this cancer at just two weeks old when a suspicious lump was detected by her parents. But the cancer wasn't diagnosed until she was 14 months old. Her parents sued the doctor, alleging the cancer should have veen diagnosed earlier, and that the allegedly delayed diagnosis reduced the girl's chances of recovery. With the girl's recent passing, the parents' attorney says the lawsuit will be amended to allege wrongful death.

A failure to diagnose a major illness can have catastrophic consequences for patients and their families. When a physician misses symptoms of an illness and treatment is delayed the patient can suffer. In many cases cancer responds better to treatment when it is diagnosed early, and before it spreads to other parts of the body. If a doctor fails to diagnose cancer, treatment such as chemotherapy is delayed and the patient's prognosis can be affected.

If a person or their family is affected by a delayed diagnosis they may find speaking to a lawyer skilled in medical malpractice to be helpful. If a medical professional is found liable for malpractice, the victim or their family would be eligible for damages.

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Ailing 7 year old girl at center of state Supreme Court ruling dies," Mary Lynn Smith and Jeremy Olson, July 8, 2013

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