Being diagnosed with a serious medical condition is scary. When you get the news, you probably want nothing more than a solid treatment plan that gives you the best possible chances of a favorable outcome. Fortunately, doctors and nurses are armed with years of education, training, and experience.

Sadly, though, if you’re reading this blog then you probably know that even these highly qualified professionals can make devastating mistakes. They can fail to diagnose or misdiagnose medical conditions, make surgical errors, and prescribe the wrong medication. Any of these errors can result in tragic injuries that might turn your life upside down.

This is especially true in the cases of delayed cancer diagnoses. As you may know, many forms of cancer can be effectively treated if they are caught in their earliest stages of development. This means that time is of the essence. Doctors need to identify symptoms and order testing in a timely fashion, and the results of those tests need to be accurately read.

Let’s look at prostate cancer as an example. There are a number of tests that can detect this particular form of cancer. The most common way to first spot this disease is through a physical examination where a doctor feels the prostate for any abnormalities. A blood sample can also identify a specific antigen that, in high amounts, can be indicative of prostate cancer.

From there, if signs and symptoms of prostate cancer exist, additional testing should be ordered. An ultrasound can create a picture of the prostate for doctors to examine, and a biopsy can lead to analysis of the prostate to determine if cancerous cells exist.

Sadly, many doctors fail to follow these steps and conduct these tests. Others follow through with appropriate testing but fail to accurately read the results. And this happens with all types of cancers, not just prostate. Those who have breast, colon, lung, and cervical can also be affected by a delayed or missed diagnosis.

The most tragic part of a delayed or missed diagnosis is the fact that it can decrease an individual’s chances of survival and, since it often leads to a worsened condition, it can lead to a decreased quality of life. This is unacceptable.

If you or a loved one has been hurt by medical malpractice, then you’re probably overwhelmed by a number of emotions. Anger, sadness, and fear may be chief amongst them. But you can obtain help fighting for accountability and compensation, you just have to take the step of reaching out for the support you need.