As with many diseases, lung cancer has a better prognosis if it is detected early. If lung cancer is diagnosed in its early stages, it is possible to cure. However, unfortunately, patients who visit a doctor complaining of telltale symptoms of lung cancer do not always get a swift diagnosis.
There are two main types of lung cancer, and these are referred to as non-small cell lung cancer, comprising around 80 percent of diagnoses, and small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer can be diagnosed through a biopsy. In order for a biopsy to take place, a doctor will need to have a reasonable amount of suspicion that the patient is indeed suffering from lung cancer. This suspicion should arise from the patient being at risk due to their age and lifestyle, as well as the symptoms that they are experiencing.
What environmental factors can influence lung cancer risk?
As with most cancers, risk increases with age. Therefore, if you are over the age of 50, your symptoms should be taken more seriously than a person in their 20s, for example. In addition, those who have worked in polluted environments such as bars and clubs before the smoking ban, or on construction sites where there was asbestos exposure, are at a higher risk. Being a smoker also puts you at a higher risk of developing lung cancer.
What are the most common symptoms of lung cancer?
Usually the first symptom of lung cancer is a cough that does not go away. The patient may also experience difficulty breathing, or be experiencing recurring chest infections.
Does my delayed diagnosis of lung cancer count as medical malpractice?
If you were not diagnosed with lung cancer until the cancer progressed, you may be wondering whether your doctor was negligent in the delay of the diagnosis. If you exhibited environmental risk factors and were experiencing common symptoms yet the possibility of lung cancer was not explored initially, this may be the case.
You may want to consider making a medical malpractice claim if you are suffering as a result of your delayed diagnosis of lung cancer. You may be able to receive compensation for the pain and suffering you are enduring.