How Often Is Cancer Misdiagnosed?


How To Get Your Free Initial Consultation

To start an evaluation of your case, please complete the form below. The more information you can provide, the better able we will be to determine if we can help you.

We will review the information and let you know by email shortly if we may be able to handle your matter and what the next steps may be.

*This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

A diagnosis of any kind of cancer is scary. In 2015, nearly 1.7 million people received cancer diagnoses, and it’s expected that in 2016 close to 600,000 will die as a result of cancer. These numbers are astronomical and they make cancer the second leading cause of death in the U.S., behind only heart disease. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, the news was likely devastating. Imagine how much worse it would be if you find out that the diagnosis could have been made sooner, improving the prognosis and perhaps even saving your loved one’s life.

According to studies published by the National Coalition on Health Care, it is estimated that cancer misdiagnoses are made anywhere from 15% to 28% of the time, with lymphomas having the highest incidence of misdiagnoses, followed by breast cancers and sarcomas. That is a huge number of cancer patients who are misdiagnosed, and it is often preventable.

When cancer is misdiagnosed, it means that a patient is given the wrong treatment or no treatment at all. Obviously, either of these can have catastrophic results, and even lead to death.

Cancer misdiagnoses can be the result of a number of different medical mistakes made by doctors. Some cancers are detectable with screening tests. If those tests are performed or read incorrectly by medical personnel or radiologists, evidence of cancer can be missed, causing a delay in diagnosis. There may be a delay in the diagnoses of other types of cancers because tests or scans simply aren’t done until the patient makes repeated trips to the doctor with the same complaint. By then, the cancer may have metastasized and the patient’s life could be threatened. A careful review of medical records may show that there was evidence of cancer in earlier x-rays, scans, or slides. If the cancer was treated then, there may have been a better outcome. These mistakes may be considered cancer misdiagnosis, and patients or their family members may have a lawsuit.

If you find that you are asking yourself if your cancer, or the cancer of a loved one, should have been detected earlier, your first step should be to contact a cancer misdiagnosis attorney. Determining whether or not a diagnosis could have been made in time to make a significant difference in prognosis takes the expertise of both attorneys and doctors. At Ross Feller Casey, we have those experts on staff to make that determination and to help and support you throughout your case.

All cases at Ross Feller Casey are handled on a contingency basis, so there will never be a cost to you unless there is a financial recovery.

Please contact us for a free consultation and review of your case.

About the Author

With more than 20 years of experience as a physician, Dr. Gerald B. Parker brings a unique perspective as a Philadelphia doctor-lawyer to Ross Feller Casey.

Gerald Parker, III

Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.