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Misdiagnosis of Lung Cancer Due to Negligence is Medical Malpractice

Oct 29, 2015 | Doctor Errors

Lung cancer is a silent disease and exhibits almost no symptoms during its early stages. Delay in diagnosing lung cancer is a frequent incident, as it can be confused with symptoms of other less complicated and critical conditions such as bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

When the occurrence of lung cancer clashes with one of these lung conditions, the cancer gets completely overlooked and often misdiagnosed.

When symptoms continue to worsen, it indicates that the cancer has advanced to a higher stage, making the chances of cure diminish each day. One of the most common medical malpractice lawsuits witnessed is misdiagnosis of lung cancer, which can have a disastrous impact on the victim and his family.

Alternative Diagnosis of Lung Cancer


Lung cancer is often mistaken for other less serious conditions that exhibit common symptoms. Some of these alternative diagnoses proposed by doctors include:

· Tuberculosis

· Pneumonia

· Lymphoma

· A benign pulmonary nodule

· Fungal pneumonia

· Lung nodules

· The presence of a foreign body in the lung

· Bronchial pneumonia

Symptoms and Diagnosis

The common symptoms that alert patients and physicians about the possible presence of lung cancer include:

· Coughing up blood

· Wheezing and chest pain

· Chronic cough

· Chronic headache

· Hoarseness

· Unexplained weight loss

The physician may use any of the following tests and screening processes to identify and diagnose lung cancer:

· Imagery tests – x-rays, PET scans, CT scans, MRI

· Sputum tests

· Bronchoscopy

· Biopsy

Failure to Diagnose Lung Cancer

Misdiagnosis of or failure to diagnose lung cancer can be associated with various medical aspects such as:

· Symptoms of lung cancer such as fever, coughs, and wheezing are usually taken less critically while recommending the required screening tests

· As lung cancer exhibits almost no symptoms during its early stages, the only possibility of diagnosing it is when patients undergo routine check-ups and chest examinations.

· Symptoms of lung cancer are not standard, as they may differ from patient to patient. In such circumstances, identifying lung cancer signs becomes tougher and more complicated.

· Lung cancer may sometimes get identified only during the patient’s autopsy after death. This is more likely to happen in older patients.

· As lung cancer is closely associated with smoking habits and tobacco usage, the possibility of lung cancer may often be overlooked in patients who do not have smoking and tobacco habits.

· Medical negligence during interpretation of chest x-rays and scan results can also lead to misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis of lung cancer.

Impact of Misdiagnosis and Legal Action

Any such circumstance that leads to misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosing lung cancer can give the cancer ample time and opportunity to advance to higher and incurable stages. At such levels, the cancer spreads to other parts of the body, including bones, brain, adrenal gland, or liver. These complications further lead to muscle problems, nerve issues, confusions, enlarged liver, bone pain, and seizures.

If you are victim of medical malpractice contact our New York City medical malpractice attorneys. Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff have law offices situated in Astoria, Queens, New York City, and two offices in Brooklyn. We know how to win cases and our success is your success.

Schedule a free confidential consultation with an attorney at RMFW Law to determine the most suitable course of legal action to be taken. We have won millions of dollars for medical malpractice victims. Call 212 697 9280 and we will begin to set the course for a much improved financial reality for you.