A diagnosis is a medical determination of what condition a patient is suffering from: (the act or process of identifying or determining the nature and cause of a disease or injury through evaluation of patient history, examination, and review of laboratory data; American Heritage Dictionary @ http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/diagnosis).
We all rely upon our healthcare providers to timely diagnose and treat our conditions. When it comes to the diagnosis of cancer, a correct and timely diagnosis is paramount, and, directly affects the patient's options for treatment and prognosis (potential outcome).
In most cases, the earlier the detection and diagnosis of cancer, the better the prognosis. Contrarily, a delay in the detection of cancer can allow the disease process to progress and worsen a patient's prognosis.
Great strides have been made in "precancer" and early stage cancer screenings. These screening tools have become standards accepted within the medical community as tests and procedures which greatly help reduce the incidence of missed detection, and, assist in earlier cancer diagnosis and treatment (if performed and interpreted correctly). Some examples of these screenings are: mammograms and manual breast examination (for breast cancer), fecal occult blood tests - FOBTs and colonoscopy (for colon cancer), PAP smears (for cervical cancer), and chest X-rays (for lung cancer). A failure to perform these and other tests, or, not performing them in a timely manner (especially in light of family and individual medical histories), may constitute medical negligence.
In addition to a "failure to test" to make a timely diagnosis, there is also the potential that a healthcare provider may misinterpret the results of tests. Missed or misinterpreted suspicious masses on X-rays or abnormal cells on pathology slides, and, missed or misinterpreted calcifications on mammograms are just a few examples of how tests results may be misread. These failures in the interpretation of tests and their results may also cause a delay in the diagnosis, and, therefore, in the treatment options available to patients.
Blume Donnelly attorneys work with experts in various medical fields to determine if cancers were timely tested for and diagnosed; and if not, to determine if delays in diagnosis caused a significant change in our clients' treatment options, prognosis and survivability. Blume Donnelly lawyers have successfully handled cases including those surrounding a failure to timely diagnose and treat various cancers including but not limited to: breast, colon, lung, testicles, cervix, uterus, endometrial, ovarian, skin, chest wall, esophagus, pancreas, soft tissues, kidney, brain and thyroid.
If you need to consult a New Jersey personal injury attorney, you need to contact the New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Blume Donnelly Fried Forte Zerres & Molinari. The initial consultation is always free.