The prospect of developing lung cancer is a very scary one.
We typically associate lung cancer with smokers, but in reality anyone can develop it.
It is true that smokers have a much larger chance of getting the disease (approximately 90 percent of lung cancer patients do smoke or have in the past), but there are second hand smoke and other carcinogens around us that can cause cancer in non-smokers too. Lung cancer kills more Americans than any other type of cancer.
It goes without saying that early detection is the key to survival with any kind of cancer, but with lung cancer timeliness is imperative. Lung cancer tends to spread quite early on to other parts of the body. The areas most often invaded are the liver, brain, bones and adrenal glands. So it is clear that symptoms must not be ignored and need to be carefully investigated. Failure to diagnose lung cancer is extremely serious and usually fatal.
The majority of people with lung cancer will develop symptoms. These warning signs can include relentless coughing, hoarseness, wheezing, and a shortness of breath. Smokers can exhibit these symptoms outside of having lung cancer, but they should always be mentioned to a doctor for further evaluation.
Pain in the chest area, back or shoulders can also be a sign, as is coughing up blood. Of course many of these issues can be side effects of other illnesses and not cancer at all, but still warrant exploration, especially if accompanied by some of the common markers of most cancers such as: ongoing fatigue, unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite. It is a doctor’s responsibility to be aware of possible warning signs and run the appropriate tests to check for lung cancer.
During routine medical checks, doctors should review a patient’s medical history and ask questions about any new changes in health. Difficulty breathing, airway obstruction or a lung infection should cause a doctor to investigate, as should changes in skin color (bluish) and nail texture. If anything suspicious comes up during the examination, a chest X-ray is the usual next step. Should the X-ray reveal anything out of the ordinary or if there is still reason to suspect illness, a CT scan or MRI will often be ordered as they will show a much clearer picture of the area.
Other possible tests include: other types of scans, sputum and blood tests, bronchoscopy and biopsy. If tests come back normal, but problems persist it is important that the patient be vigilant in expressing her concerns. Doctors have many tests at their disposal for diagnosing lung cancer and should take patients’ concerns seriously in order to make a quick and accurate diagnosis. Failure to do so can be considered medical malpractice.
If a doctor failed to diagnose lung cancer in yourself or a loved one, you should speak with an experienced attorney. We regularly deal with medical malpractice cases and will use our background to assess your case free of charge.The Dallas cancer misdiagnosis attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm understand how to properly deal with your unfortunate situation. Please conatct us today for a free, no obligation consultation.