When a Houston resident hears the diagnosis of cancer it can be a life-changing situation. Many times an early cancer diagnosis can lead to a good outcome for a patient because treatment is started early. But when a patient suffers from a delayed diagnosis for their cancer it can lead to delayed treatment and a worsened condition.
Lung cancer can be a scary diagnosis for anyone. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death for those who have cancer. There are two types of lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer is a cancer that occurs almost exclusively in those who smoke heavily. The more common type of lung cancer is non-small cell lung cancer. This includes several types of lung cancer under this umbrella but they all act in similar ways. There are symptoms of lung cancer that should not be ignored by a doctor. These can include coughing up blood, a cough that doesn't go away, wheezing, chest pain, headache, and unexpected loss of weight.
Many times a family practice doctor is the first doctor a patient will visit with symptoms. It is important that this doctor takes the time to understand what is going on and what tests need to be run. An x-ray may reveal an abnormal mass that would need to be further looked into. A CT scan can show smaller lesions not visible on an x-ray. In addition, a biopsy can also be a procedure to check for abnormal cells.
When lung cancer is missed it can lead to a delay in treatment and a worsened condition for a patient. There are several places where the cancer can be missed. First, a family practitioner may miss the warning signs that their patient is exhibiting. Or a radiologist may not comment on an abnormality that is found on an x-ray or CT scan and fails to see the cancer. A patient who believes their lung cancer may have been missed in a screening may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. A patient may have legal options they may want to explore.
Source: mayoclinic.org, "Lung cancer", accessed on June 6, 2016