Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke


Failure to Diagnose Cancer

One of the most prevalent reasons for medical malpractice suits is a delay or failure to diagnose a disease, such as cancer. The most frequently missed diagnoses are breast, colon, prostate and lung cancers. According to the National Cancer Institute, 1 out of every 2 people will be diagnosed with some type of cancer during their lifetime. Delayed and missed cancer diagnoses happen more often than we realize and, as a result, far fewer people pursue fair compensation through the Courts. 

Many cancers are easily treated with less invasive treatment if discovered early. Your treatment options can be reduced or eliminated if a cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage. Consequently, there is a window of opportunity for detecting and treating cancers at an early stage which may dramatically increase your chances of long term survival. For that reason, early detection is the best cancer treatment. If you have any reason to believe your cancer could have been diagnosed earlier; or, was not properly treated, we are available to consult with you and review your case without any cost to you.

Medical malpractice claims involving a delay in diagnosing cancer are very complex and are usually hotly contested by the doctor or hospital who generally deny that there was any negligence. Moreover, when doctors and hospitals are sued for malpractice they typically also claim that early diagnosis would not have made a difference to the outcome.  In other words,  even if the cancer had been earlier diagnosed and treated (as early as you claim it could have been) it would not have made a substantial difference in your disease progression. Doctors use what is called the "So What" defense.

In order to prevail in a medical malpractice trial in New York, the plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that: the physician/hospital departed or deviated from accepted standards of medical care; 2) that the departure/deviation from accepted standards of medical care was a substantial factor in causing an injury to the plaintiff; and 3) that the plaintiff suffered injuries or was deprived of a substantial opportunity for a cure.

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