Angelina Jolie made worldwide headlines in May when she elected to have a double mastectomy as a preventative measure for her genetic likelihood of developing breast cancer at some point in her life. Electing to have preventative surgery is life-changing and body-altering, all for the sake of “what if this happens,” and is a bold move on the part of the one making the decision. But, not everyone is so lucky to make the choice for elective surgery, which is often expensive and not always covered by standard insurance. Therefore, we place our care in the hands in our doctors and specialists to help us make those decisions when they find something amiss. But, what about if a condition is there, and it’s not discovered in time—or at all?
Many of us rely on our doctors and oncologists to guide us on our path to healthy living, both from a preventative standpoint and from a healing standpoint when we encounter a disease. Are the doctors always right? What happens when they fail to see what is there, or miss an important difference in our annual check up or mammogram? What aids in the decision when the doctor says, “you have a predisposition for cancer,” as in Angelina Jolie’s case? How do we determine whether or not our doctor failed to diagnose a condition before it’s too late? The process for determining a basis for a missed diagnosis is complicated.
Failure to diagnose is when a doctor does not find anything in our bodies, yet an abnormality is present and goes undetected. The failure on the part of our doctor to diagnose something critical is not the path of action we want to endure during our lifetimes, and leaves many questions unanswered in the patient who finds that this is now part of life. How could this have happened? Was the failure due to doctor negligence, distractedness, or lack of proper equipment that failed to find the area of concern? At what stage of cancer was the area thought to be at the time of discovery? These questions and more will find themselves in a lawsuit for failure to diagnose.
We hold our medical community accountable for helping us lives healthy lives. When that trust is compromised, we’re left devastated, confused and angry about the situation. Adding to this stress will not help your condition, no matter what stage of cancer you have.
If your doctor has uncovered an advanced stage of breast cancer, or you feel that your physician or oncologist should have discovered this condition much earlier, your first course of action is to seek the advice of your New York attorney who can work with you to investigate the cause and hospital involved. Filing a claim and investigating medical issues may require that certain tasks be completed within a certain time frame. You will want an expert law firm to help you with this process, and find some answers to the unending list of questions in your case.
Before you take matters into your own hands by trying to solve the reasons why your disease went undetected for so long, seek the help you deserve in finding resolutions to your health care and peace of mind.