If you get a delayed diagnosis, you still wind up with the correct diagnosis. Say that your doctor discovers you have cancer. Maybe they miss it at a checkup and catch it the following year. You’ve had it the whole time, but the diagnosis of that cancer was simply delayed for 12 months.
This is not the same as entirely missing the diagnosis, but it is still often a medical error that is based on negligence. A doctor may have overlooked the obvious signs or symptoms. And a delayed diagnosis, especially with something like cancer, can be incredibly detrimental to your health. The mistake could even be fatal.
What type of cancer do you have?
Simply using the word cancer to describe the disease is a bit too simplistic, as there are actually hundreds of different types. They grow at different rates. So part of the impact is just going to be from the type of cancer that you have.
For instance, mesothelioma is often known as a very aggressive cancer. Breast cancer tends to spread very slowly, so it’s on the other end of the spectrum. Lung cancer can spread quickly and may enter nearby organs, and some types of cancer can move through your bloodstream.
If you have a type of cancer that is aggressive or that spreads quickly, the delay could be very serious. If the doctor would have caught the cancer last year, perhaps they could have operated and removed it. Because of the delayed diagnosis, your cancer may have spread so far that it can no longer be removed or effectively treated.
When a medical mistake impacts your health to this degree, it’s critical that you understand your legal options — both for your own sake and your family.