Despite their common association with the female reproductive system, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancers present roughly opposite problems of diagnosis for family practice physicians, internal medicine specialists and gynecologists. Ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose early because the patient typically has few symptoms or no symptoms at all. Endometrial cancer, or cancer of the uterine lining, is difficult to diagnose because it shares fairly obvious symptoms with a number of more common diseases and conditions.
At Wocl Leydon, LLC, our attorneys combine experience with the investigation of cancer misdiagnosis claims with the ability to discuss complex medical and legal issues with forensic experts, clients, defense counsel and trial juries. This combination of skills allows our AV Preeminent* litigation firm to give clients clear answers about the relative strength of a medical malpractice claim, the value of a claim for failure to diagnose ovarian or endometrial cancer, and perhaps most important, solid information about the likelihood that a doctor’s error of judgment played an important role in the death or serious injury of someone in your family.
How To Make An Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis
According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 20,000 cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed in the United States every year, and only 19 percent of patients are diagnosed in the early stages. Early diagnosis is complicated by the fact that the patient often has no symptoms at all before the disease is advanced, and no screening test like the pap smear for cervical cancer is yet available to detect any of the several forms of ovarian cancer at an early stage.
In order to diagnose an epithelial or stromal cancer of the ovary in time to make a difference, a physician needs to be aware of the patient’s specific risk factors through familiarity with her medical history, her family medical history or the presence of such inherited risk factors as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast cancer genes.
If these factors are taken into account at the first signs of such symptoms as pelvic pain, frequent or urgent urination, or abdominal bloating, the doctor can order tests that in turn can eliminate explanations other than cancer. A definitive diagnosis of ovarian cancer usually requires surgery and a biopsy, usually performed together through laparoscopic techniques.
The ultimate question in a medical negligence case involving ovarian cancer is whether any member of the patient’s medical team should have known to pursue the possibility of the condition at an earlier point, and whether the failure to do so represented a departure from a recognized standard of care.
Bridgeport Endometrial Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorneys
About 40,000 new cases of endometrial cancer are found each year in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute. The diagnostic problem this malignancy presents is essentially the opposite of that encountered in ovarian cancer cases: rather than a lack of symptoms, the abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge characteristic of endometrial cancer are easily identified by the patient and the doctor.
Unfortunately, these symptoms are easily confused with other illnesses and medical conditions, including cervical cancer. The early signs of endometrial cancer are often confused with those of pelvic inflammatory disease, cervical polyps, uterine fibroids or any of several STDs. A primary care physician who is aware of a patient’s risk factors for endometrial cancer based on personal and family medical history is more likely to consider the possibility of a malignancy than one whose diagnosis is based solely on the symptoms presented.
Connecticut Medical Negligence Lawyers Serving Clients Statewide
Find out how experienced medical malpractice attorneys collaborating with outstanding medical professionals can evaluate the performance of your physician in diagnosing or failing to diagnose ovarian or endometrial cancer. Contact Wocl Leydon, LLC in Stamford or Bridgeport for a free consultation.
We represent clients statewide and handle all of our medical malpractice cases on a contingency basis. There are no legal fees to pay unless we win.
*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards, and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.