Trained medical professionals can often make a quick diagnosis that, in turn, can lead to speedy and effective medical treatment. Oftentimes, this rapid response can lead to a decrease in symptoms, an improved prognosis and even complete remediation of the condition. Other times, however, medical professionals make errors in diagnosing conditions, which can lead to devastating consequences.
One of these conditions is cancer. Previous posts here have detailed how several types of cancer are diagnosed, and this week we will look at brain cancer.
There are a number of ways in which brain cancer can be diagnosed. First, a neurological exam can identify any issues with a person's vision, balance, hearing and coordination, which may be red flags that additional testing is needed. Certain image testing, such as a MRI, can help medical professionals see and better understand the extent of a brain tumor. A CT scan may also be utilized, but it often isn't as effective as a MRI. If tumors are identified, then a biopsy can help determine whether it is cancerous. The same holds true if cancer is found in other parts of the body, as it may wind up spreading to the brain.
When caught early enough, some brain tumors are small enough to be entirely removed surgically. Radiation therapy, radiosurgery, chemotherapy and drug therapy can also be effective at eliminating or shrinking a brain tumor and, as a result, minimizing symptoms. However, far too often doctors fail to appropriately spot warning signs of brain cancer and neglect to order additional testing. Other times, even when testing is ordered, results are incorrectly read and wrong courses of treatment are recommended. In these instances, if a victim suffers additional harm as a direct result of a doctor's failure to diagnose, a medical malpractice claim may be justified in hopes of recovering compensation for damages suffered.