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Woman says failure to diagnose cancer worsened her condition

Cancer can be a devastating and potentially life-altering diagnosis, but a lack of such a diagnosis may ultimately be even worse. One woman claims that a failure to diagnose her cancer resulted in it spreading, and she is seeking financial damages for the alleged neglect. New Jersey patients who have similarly suffered from a missed diagnosis may choose to follow a similar course of action.

When the patient in question began to suffer from pain and a decreased motion range in one of her knees, she believed the cause to be running and sought help from a sports clinic. An X-ray showed that there was an abnormality located in her left knee. Worried that the abnormality may have been cancer, the attending doctor ordered an MRI, but of the wrong knee.

The woman had an MRI of her right knee rather than her left, which showed that there was no problem. When the doctor treated her left knee, he did so off of the wrongly ordered MRI. When the issues did not subside, she sought treatment elsewhere, and the second doctor also treated her off of the wrong MRI. After finally seeking a third opinion, she was ultimately sent to see an oncologist, who diagnosed her with osteosarcoma. By that point, her cancer had spread all the way to her lungs.

In total, it took seven months to be diagnosed, and this allegedly gave her tumor the time to grow and spread, decreasing her odds of overall survival. In her claim, she alleges that the doctors who demonstrated a failure to diagnose her osteosarcoma were also negligent in her care, resulting in prolonged pain and injuries as well as costly medical bills. While it is unclear exactly how much, her suit is asking for over $25,000 that, if successful, can help with any unpaid or future medical costs. Those in New Jersey who have suffered after a doctor failed to properly diagnose them also retain the right to seek compensatory damages in a medical malpractice claim.

Source: limaohio.com, "Coldwater woman files medical malpractice lawsuit", Greg Sowinski, July 22, 2014

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Alan D. Bell
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