While cancer remains one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., various treatments developed in the last century have increased the chances of survival for numerous patients. However, the treatment's effectiveness decreases if the cancer is in an advanced stage. This can happen when a patient does not recognize signs of incoming cancer and procrastinates going to the doctor for examination.
However, another way this can happen is if the doctor fails to diagnose the disease in time. Due to to this delay, your body suffers numerous consequences as a result. Here is what can happen if you find out your diagnosis too late.
Regular treatment may not work.
If the doctor finds your body in an early stage of cancer, they will recommend treatment to remove it immediately before it spreads. However, those in later stages are not eligible for the same treatment. Because more complicated surgeries are required, doctors will instead recommend patients to take palliative treatment to lessen the pain until the patient is ready for potential curative surgeries.
Your medical expenses increase.
More cancer in your body means more medicine, doctor visits, treatments and bills. While the amount of cancer treatments have increased over the years, so have the costs. Late stage cancer places heavy financial burdens on you and your family and can be difficult to keep up with in late stage treatment. Even if you are cured, it is very difficult to recover from this financially.
Your chances of survival decrease.
If the physical pains from late stage cancer were not enough, a patient's chances for a curable treatment can be significantly lower. It becomes increasingly difficult for doctors to remove all of the cancer in later stages. The American Cancer Society said in their breast cancer report that the survival rate is nearly 100 percent for women who receive treatment in stage 0 or I. In contrast, the survival rate is 72 percent for stage III and 22 percent for stage IV. While these conditions can vary, doctors still recommend treatment for patients in stage I.
Who is to blame?
While some patients may have failed to recognize cancer signs and receive treatment quickly, there have been numerous cases where the primary care physicians fail to identify it, refer patients to the wrong specialty or procrastinate in making a diagnosis. This is a form of medical malpractice that may require legal action if you or a loved one were a victim of the doctor's mistake. A successful lawsuit could result in receiving compensation for medical expenses.