Cancer is one of the leading causes of death due to the complexity of treating it. A cancer diagnosis instills so much fear than almost nothing else and nobody wants to hear it. Despite the concern, millions of people get a diagnosis with some cancer, and hundreds of thousands die. The cause of so much anxiety and fear is because cancer causes many painful deaths. Medical practitioners can cause more stress for the cancer patients and their loved ones if they later find that the first diagnosis had some sort of error.

False cancer diagnosis leads to malpractice lawsuits because it causes much suffering to the patient in the form of incorrect, delayed or no treatment. Sometimes, the condition of the patient might worsen to the extent of causing death.


MisdiagnosisAn erroneous determination can stem from late diagnosis or an obvious misdiagnosis. A misdiagnosis relating to cancer can happen in different ways. The first occurs when a doctor diagnosed a patient with cancer and later found out that the person did not have the disease. It is the least common type of misdiagnosis which will upset the person and cause emotional stress but is not going to cause long-term physical problems.

Delayed DiagnosisThe most common type of misdiagnosis happens because of a delay in cancer diagnosis. It occurs when a patient after a cancer diagnosis determines that there is a reason to find out if the doctors should have diagnosed the disease earlier. Since cancer is a progressive condition, early diagnosis would have led to a better prognosis and treatment. It means that a delay in diagnosis can cause a different outcome than if there was an early diagnosis. Screening tests can detect some cancers before a patient starts to exhibit signs and symptoms. Cancer on these organs is that which doctors can diagnose early with screening tests include cancer on these organs:

  • Lung
  • Colon
  • Prostate
  • Breast
  • Cervix

A cancer misdiagnosis might still occur even after a screening. Mistakes in evaluating scans often lead to an incorrect determination that cancer does not exist.

Cancer will keep on progression if there are not early diagnoses and it will only be diagnosed when it is in a progressive stage.

Incorrect diagnosis procedureAnother way of cancer misdiagnosis occurs if the method of performing the screening test is erroneous. For instance, improper preparation of the bowels in colorectal cancer before the test might cause an inaccurate reading. It is a reason to request for a repeat test. It could be enough to accuse a doctor of medical malpractice for failing to order a repeat test and the patient is diagnosed later with cancer.


A mistake in diagnosis does not automatically sustain a case of medical malpractice. The patient or the representing advocate must use these ways to prove that a doctor should be liable for medical malpractice during a cancer diagnosis.

1.Failing to record the correct illness: Occurs when a medical professional does not include the accurate diagnosis on a list that another doctor with similar training would have included on a diagnosis list

2.Failing to investigate a diagnosis: The meaning of this is that a doctor added the correct diagnosis to the list but without conducting appropriate testing and seeking opinions from specialists to determine if the diagnosis is viable.

3.Failing to include proper illness: Happens when a medical professional fails to include the correctly diagnosed illness on his list when the situation requires the inclusion

4.Picking the wrong illness: This is the diagnosis of the wrong disease, e.g. cancer when the patient has another disease

5.Missed Diagnosis: A medical professional declares a patient to be healthy, but it emerges that he has cancer.

6.Delayed diagnosis-A delay in diagnosing the disease by a patient’s doctor until it progresses and worsens

7.Failing to diagnose relating and unrelated disease: Occurs when a doctor diagnosis another disease but not cancer till it progresses.

Sometimes a technician will be responsible for false cancer diagnosis due to the occurrence of one of these things that alter the accuracy of the test.

  • Contamination of samples
  • Fault or malfunctioning of the testing equipment
  • Incorrect reading of test results
  • Use of improper procedure or missing of something in the test

A plaintiff in false cancer diagnosis leads to malpractice case needs to prove that there was a relationship with the doctor who had a duty of care which he breached and it is the primary cause of wrong outcome or disease progression.

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