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The failure to diagnose lung cancer can have fatal results

When a Houston resident hears they have cancer it can come as a shock. The unknown is often very scary and treatment options usually sound awful. Oftentimes, if cancer is detected early the survival rate is good. But when there is a failure to diagnose cancer on behalf of a medical professional it can lead to very serious consequences.

Lung cancer is the leading cancer death for both men and women. Each year, more than 158,000 patients in the U.S. die from the disease. Research has shown that, each year, more people die of lung cancer than colon, prostrate and breast cancer combined. If lung cancer is detected early, then the chances of survival are better.

But when a medical provider fails to diagnose lung cancer it leads to delayed treatment. Any delay in treatment for this, or any other, cancer can easily lead to a worsened condition, decreased chance of survival, and even death.

Symptoms of lung cancer include a persistent cough that doesn't seem to go away, chest pain, weight loss, no appetite, difficulty breathing, and coughing up blood. When a patient shows these symptoms and has a history of smoking or exposure to certain hazards their medical provider should order a chest x-ray, pulmonary function tests, and other tests. Tragically, many times when the x-ray is read the abnormality is missed. This leads to lung cancer often not being diagnosed until the later stages where it is much harder to treat.

Patients who believe their lung cancer was not detected at the first signs may wish to contact a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. An attorney can review the medical records, tests, and x-rays and determine how the cancer was missed. They can fight to hold the medical provider responsible for their negligence, and, if successful, compensation may be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Source: The Mayo Clinic, "Lung cancer", accessed on July 20, 2015

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