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Failure to diagnose cancer led to daughter's death

A woman who lost her daughter to breast cancer spoke out about her experience at a recent breast cancer awareness event in Ohio. Her experience serves as a tragic reminder that a failure to diagnose cancer by health care professionals does happen. She stressed the importance of getting a second opinion and a mammogram.

The woman's daughter discovered a lump in her breast at age 21. She immediately went to a physician, but the physician said it was caused by caffeine. Over the next eight years, the cancer went undiagnosed and spread throughout her body. It was not until the daughter was 29 that a doctor correctly recognized and diagnosed the breast cancer. By then, her disease was already stage 4 breast cancer. The daughter died at age 33.

When people see health care professionals, they trust the professional to act appropriately and with due care. It appears that did not happen here. Indeed, if the first physician had correctly diagnosed the lump, it may be the daughter would have survived.

There is no legal remedy available to the woman that can make amends for her tragic loss, but the law does allow for monetary damages that may provide some relief. Because of the first physician's failure to diagnose cancer, which eventually contributed to her daughter's death, that physician may be liable for medical malpractice. Individuals suspecting that they or loved ones have been victimized by a failure to diagnose or other medical malpractice would do well to consult an attorney who is well versed in all aspects of medical malpractice law and litigation. The lawyer may answer important questions, move to preserve vital evidence and assist in pursuing all negligent parties to hold them fully accountable for their wrongdoing.

Source: The Mansfield News Journal, "Breast cancer month kicked off this week," Lou Whitmire, Oct. 8, 2011

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