Mesothelioma and Misdiagnosis
One of the most persistent, long-lasting illnesses commonly encountered in modern medicine is the cancer known as mesothelioma. Primarily seen in older men who have been exposed to asbestos, mesothelioma has been the centerpiece of some significant medical malpractice cases in recent years. However, many cases were made even worse by misdiagnosis, causing a debilitating disease to become even more so. Not every medical mistake is grounds to allege malpractice, but it is very common for mesothelioma to be misdiagnosed, and sometimes, the cost is too high to allow.Mesothelioma Origins and Symptoms
Mesothelioma is a cancer which occurs after significant exposure to asbestos. It almost exclusively affects the thin membrane, called the mesothelium, that covers internal organs like the heart, lungs, and reproductive organs. Very rarely, a benign form will appear, usually in the abdomen, but the majority of mesothelioma cases are unfortunately incurable.
The current risk for mesothelioma is somewhat decreased nowadays, given that most public buildings and industrial installations are now more aware of the dangers of asbestos, and have taken steps to remove it. Still, one of the hallmarks of mesothelioma is its significantly long lead time. It can take decades for the disease to present with significant enough symptoms, and when it does, it very often mimics other potential ailments.How Does Misdiagnosis Affect the Patient?
Because mesothelioma can be so advanced at the time of diagnosis, some argue that making a mistake is irrelevant, that the disease is incurable, and, thus, no harm is done. This is an objectively incorrect approach - while mesothelioma is not curable, it is treatable if caught at the right time, and sufferers can gain years with their loved ones. This is difficult to prove, but it is possible, and, if you can show that you sustained a measurable injury from the misdiagnosis, you may be able to bring suit.
The standard of care in California is to always try to alleviate symptoms if the benefits outweigh the potential risks, and that a reasonable doctor of similar age, experience and talent would undertake the same procedure. If a doctor fails to act in this fashion, it is persuasive evidence that they have breached the duty owed by a medical professional to their patients. A breach of duty is one of the cornerstones of a medical malpractice lawsuit. Between that and a finding of measurable injury, you must be able to show that the doctor’s action (or in this case, inaction) caused your harm. If all four of these criteria are met, the likelihood that your doctor will be held liable for your misdiagnosis is high.Contact a Misdiagnosis Attorney
Misdiagnosis of a condition as serious as mesothelioma can cause problems and hardships, not least of which is that it can rob you of precious time with your loved ones. If you have been the victim of a misdiagnosis, you may be eligible for compensation. The skilled San Jose misdiagnosis attorneys at Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. will help answer your questions and guide you through the process of filing suit with a compassionate ear. Call us today at (408) 289-1417 or use our web form to set up an appointment. We serve San Jose, the Bay Area, and the counties of San Benito, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda and Monterey.Sources