Lung cancer claims the lives of more men and women than any other type of cancer. Failure to diagnose cancer is a type of medical malpractice that can deprive a patient of early diagnosis and treatment, which can have severe consequences. Healthcare professionals have a duty to take reasonable steps to detect lung cancer, including recommending appropriate screenings for high-risk patients.
Understanding Physician Responsibility
Lung cancer can be divided into the broad categories of small cell (SCLC) and non-small cell (NSCLC), with roughly 85 percent of cases falling in the latter category. Early detection of NSCLC can improve the survival rate, yet the majority of patients are diagnosed during later stages of the disease.
In 2013, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced its recommendation that adults age 55 to 79 who have at least a 30 pack-year history of smoking and who have quit within the past 15 years should undergo yearly low-dose lung cancer screening CT. This recommendation applies to adults who show no signs or symptoms of lung cancer but are at high risk for developing the disease due to their smoking history and age.
The recommendation was an enormous step in the fight against lung cancer. It was issued at Grade B, the same grade given to breast cancer screening. This means that physicians will be held responsible for a missed lung cancer diagnosis if they do not offer appropriate screening.
The goal of a screening is to detect cancer so that it can be treated. Physicians have a duty to recommend the low-dose screening to these high-risk patients. Failure to recommend or offer low-dose chest CT screenings for high-risk patients is medical malpractice because of the negative implications for patient health and the understanding that a reasonable doctor in a similar circumstance would recommend the scan.
How our Attorneys Can Help
Medical malpractice law is regulated by complex rules that vary from state to state. At Shapiro & Sternlieb, LLC we have the knowledge and experience that these difficult cases require. If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer and a medical professional failed to recommend the appropriate screening, you may be entitled to compensation. Our lawyers also represent individuals who have lost a loved one to these tragic circumstances.
Our attorneys know that your health has an enormous impact on your quality of life. Nothing can truly make up for the suffering that you have endured because of someone else’s negligence. You are likely dealing with medical bills and looming expenses, as well as potential emotional struggles. We will fight to ease those burdens by pursuing the full and fair compensation that you deserve.
We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you don’t owe us anything unless we are able to recover compensation for you.
Contact our Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today
Contact the experienced attorneys at Shapiro & Sternlieb, LLC for a free medical malpractice case evaluation by calling 732-617-8050. We serve Englishtown, Monmouth and Middlesex Counties, Jersey City, and the surrounding area of New Jersey.