- Medical Malpractice
- Birth Injuries
- Estate Planning
- Real Estate
A common type of medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other provider, such as a lab, fails to diagnose a serious illness such as cancer. When this failure is the result of negligence on the part of the medical professional, victims may be able to hold the provider liable for the damage caused by the failure to diagnose. This means that doctors and others could be responsible for the expense, costs and pain resulting from the untreated illness.
Ovarian cancer is an illness that is sometimes not diagnosed in time for treatment to be successful. The symptoms can be vague and non-specific until the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, when it becomes much harder to treat. The fatality rate for ovarian cancer at this stage is much higher than it is earlier, when the symptoms are less clear. This is why it is so important to diagnose it at an early stage.
Despite the difficulties in diagnosis, it is indeed possible for doctors to diagnose and treat ovarian cancer if identified in a timely way. Two tests can suggest the presence of ovarian cancer: a transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) and a CA-125 blood test. However, there are problems with both types of tests, so they are not used for routine screening the way a mammogram is used for routine breast cancer screening.
However, these are the best tests available at present. If a woman has any of the symptoms listed here, a provider should try to rule out ovarian cancer by performing the tests after ruling out less serious problems, such as urinary tract infections that can be diagnosed with a simple urinalysis.
Because these symptoms are also present in other, less serious diseases, it is important that medical providers listen to women who visit the doctor with some or all of these symptoms. After eliminating causes such as urinary tract infections and other less serious conditions, providers should always consider the possibility of ovarian cancer and order the appropriate tests. If they do not and a woman develops late stage ovarian cancer, doctors and labs could be held liable. Victims (and their families if a woman has died) could be eligible for compensation.
If your ovarian cancer was misdiagnosed and not treated in a timely way, or you were given the wrong treatment, contact the attorneys at the Western Pennsylvania law firm of Richards & Richards, LLP. With an attorney who is also a nurse practitioner and former hospital administrator, the medical malpractice team at our law firm has the knowledge and experience to build a strong case for compensation.