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Delayed Cancer Diagnosis

Cancer claims numerous lives every year. Survival rates are often dependent on how early cancer is diagnosed and when treatment begins. When doctors fail to diagnose cancer within a reasonable time frame, a patient may be more likely to die from the disease.

Medical Malpractice: Cancer

cancer patient dying in hospital

Whether a cancer patient will survive their illness often depends on how early they receive treatment. The earlier cancer is detected, the better chance a patient has of beating the disease. That is why doctors must be vigilant when monitoring patients for symptoms that may indicate possible cancer.

Sometimes medical professionals fail to properly recognize the symptoms of cancer until it is too late to save a patient. If you have lost a loved one to cancer as a result of such medical negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for a variety of losses by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. The medical malpractice cancer experts at Mourn can review your case and discuss your legal options at no cost to you.

Cancer Fatality Statistics

Numerous factors can influence the odds of a cancer patient surviving. How early they start treatment is among the most significant factors. Others include the type of cancer they have, their age, and their overall physical condition before their illness developed.

Cancer is ranked as the second-leading cause of death in the United States. According to the World Health Organization, it is the number one leading cause of death worldwide.

That is why it is critical that doctors familiarize themselves with the signs that a patient may need to undergo diagnostic tests to determine if they have cancer. When doctors do not properly identify and address the symptoms of cancer early, the risk of a patient dying often increases substantially.

For example, when lung cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, 56% of patients will survive five years or longer. When it is diagnosed at a later stage (when cancer has spread throughout the body), only 5% of patients will survive five years or longer.

When Are Doctors Considered Liable for Cancer Fatalities?

Doctors, nurses, and similar medical professionals are expected to provide patients with a certain standard of care. Part of doing so involves monitoring patients for signs of illness. Physicians must pay attention to any alarming symptoms their patients are experiencing so that they can order necessary tests and prescribe treatment in a timely manner.

It is important to understand that a doctor is not always considered liable when a patient dies of cancer. Sometimes, patients lose their lives to illnesses even when their doctors were responsible and diligent. However, a doctor may be considered liable when a patient dies because they negligently failed to identify the signs of cancer at a time when another doctor likely would have.

If their failure to diagnose cancer represents a deviation from the normal expectations and practices for someone in their role, the surviving loved ones of the patient may be eligible for financial compensation.

Tests that doctors may order when they notice the early signs of what might be cancer include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Biopsies
  • Blood work tests
  • MRI scans
  • CT scans

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If you believe your loved one died because of a delayed cancer diagnosis, please contact our counselors and legal experts to get the support you need.

Challenges for Families After A Cancer Death

Losing a loved one to cancer is always heartbreaking. However, if you believe there was a chance they may have survived had their doctor diagnosed their illness at an earlier stage, it can be a particularly devastating experience. The emotional toll a family experiences after a loved one’s death from cancer is by no means the only potential struggle they may face.


A loved one’s premature death can also have major financial consequences for their surviving loved ones. In the immediate aftermath of a death, a family must plan a funeral, which can be costly.

They might also have to adapt to the loss of a loved one’s income if they were a provider for the family. Additionally, they may need to pay others to take on roles a loved one once filled. An example would be needing to pay for childcare if the loved one who died was responsible for tending to the children’s needs on a daily basis.

Financial Compensation for Families After A Wrongful Death

While nothing can replace a lost loved one, families in these circumstances may at least pursue financial compensation for their losses if a loved one’s death occurred because a negligent physician did not properly diagnose them in time.

However, it can be difficult to determine if you have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit after a loved one dies of cancer. The experts at a cancer fatalities law firm can review the details of the case and let you know whether you should take legal action.

Cancer fatality lawyers can also help you pursue compensation in numerous ways. For example, they may conduct an investigation to gather evidence indicating a doctor failed to diagnose your loved one’s illness until long after they should have been able to do so.

Your attorney can further help you by handling the various tasks your case may involve, such as coordinating with medical experts, completing paperwork, and negotiating with insurance companies in an effort to secure an appropriate settlement. This gives you the time to focus on the needs of yourself and your family.

Our Legal Advocates Are Here to Help

Do you believe your loved one would still be alive today if a doctor had diagnosed and begun treatment for their cancer earlier? If so, schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our team at Mourn. If we decide to represent you, we will not charge any legal fees unless we secure compensation for you first.

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