When cancer is suspected, oncologists will often order a CT scan of the area to determine how to proceed diagnostically. Finding tumors early is key to implementing a treatment protocol that results in the best possible prognosis, and a properly performed CT scan provides meaningful information to the physician. When the tumors are located and the size identified to determine the stage of the cancer, a more or less aggressive treatment course if indicated.
Though CT scans can fail to reveal tumors for a variety of reasons, including the scan being performed incorrectly, one of the biggest risks to a patient comes from a misread CT scan. If tumors are present but the radiologist misses them, the doctor will not provide necessary and early treatment. All too often the patient is facing high risk of death when the diagnosis is finally made, months or even years after the misread CT scan, as the cancer will have progressed in the interim.
In many ways, a misread CT scan is even more devastating for a family than an entirely unsuspected cancer. To know that the person might have survived if the disease had been caught early, as it should have been, can be very hard to accept. Loss is always difficult for a family financially, but the emotional suffering of knowing the loss was preventable is difficult to fully fathom for those who have not experienced it.
Cancer is not the only missed diagnosis that occurs due to a misread CT scan. DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and other emergent diseases can also be detected by this type of diagnostic process, and when missed result in death or adverse health outcomes for the patient.
If you or someone you love has suffered unnecessarily due to a misread CT scan, please consider consulting with an experienced attorney. A qualified lawyer will know the right experts to review your case to determine whether or not the diagnosis should have been made more quickly, and whether a swift diagnosis might have resulted in a better outcome for the patient.