Alan D. Bell Attorney at Law
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Veteran suffers after VA failure to recognize cancer

Cancer is a devastating disease that can wreak havoc on the lives of everyone it affects. A timely diagnosis is often an essential component of most cancer treatment plans. A doctor's failure to recognize cancer can ultimately lead to a negative outcome for New Jersey patients, an outcome with which one Navy veteran is intimately familiar.

After serving in the Navy -- during which she spent time deployed in Iraq -- and later in the Air Force reserves, the veteran sought care for significant medical issues that she had developed. Her local Veteran's Affair center did not find anything of perceived importance and insisted that she was perfectly healthy. Unfortunately, the initial clean bill of health was wrong. The attending doctor had missed the presence of cancer cells, and the woman did not learn of her cancer until about a year later.

Initially diagnosed as endometrial cancer, the VA referred her to an institute that specializes in cancer. There, she was informed that her VA doctors had again messed up her diagnosis. Her medical records specifically noted that she was not suffering from endometrium cancer. The correct diagnosis was uterine cancer which, because of the significant delay in diagnosis, ended in a hysterectomy that might have otherwise been avoided.

Patients who have experienced the devastation of a missed diagnosis typically go on to deal with more than just the related physical and emotional pain. A failure to recognize cancer at an initial screening or appointment can allow the disease to fester and grow, resulting in additional necessary care and the medical bills that go with it. New Jersey patients who have been unfairly burdened with mounds of medical bills due to a serious delay in diagnosis can address these costs through a successful medical malpractice suit. These types of claims also tend to help heal some of the emotional wounds suffered during such traumatic ordeals.

Source:, "Disabled veteran takes on the VA over misdiagnosis, medical bills", Al Vaughters, March 3, 2016

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Alan D. Bell
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Phone: 973-233-4291
Phone: 973-743-7070

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