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Failure to Diagnose Kidney Cancer

Lawyers Representing Injured Clients in Baltimore

Kidney cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States, with approximately seventy-five thousand new cases diagnosed per year. Despite its prevalence, some doctors fail to recognize the signs of kidney cancer or perform the tests necessary to obtain an accurate diagnosis, ultimately resulting in some patients not being diagnosed until after the cancer has spread. Typically, the failure to diagnose kidney cancer is the result of medical negligence, and patients harmed by careless doctors are often able to recover compensation. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to a missed or delayed kidney cancer diagnosis, you should seek legal counsel to discuss your possible claims. The Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are dedicated to helping people harmed by incompetent health care providers fight for just outcomes, and if you hire us, we will advocate zealously on your behalf.

Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Cancer

Certain medical conditions increase the risk of kidney cancer, as does exposure to toxic substances and being on dialysis for an extended duration. People with kidney cancer often complain of weight loss, decreased appetite, fatigue, and lower back pain. Anemia, red blood cells in the urine, and abdominal masses are common signs of kidney cancer as well.

Generally, doctors will perform a series of tests if they believe someone may have kidney cancer. For example, they usually will order blood and urine tests to determine if there are any abnormalities. In many cases, a doctor will then order a CT scan or MRI to determine if any cells or masses that may be cancerous show up on imaging studies. If so, the doctor will likely conduct a biopsy to definitively determine whether a patient has cancer. When a doctor does not obtain a thorough medical history or take the steps necessary to evaluate whether a patient’s symptoms may indicate a serious illness, a patient’s cancer may go undiagnosed and spread to other tissues or organs.

Proving Liability for the Failure to Diagnose Kidney Cancer

Doctors are expected to provide their patients with suitable care, and when they do not, they can be held accountable. Typically, plaintiffs harmed by the failure to diagnose kidney cancer will assert medical negligence claims against their doctors. In Maryland, to prove negligence in a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. The duty a doctor owes a patient is to provide treatment commensurate with the applicable standard, which is the care that a practitioner working in the same specialty would provide in a similar situation. The plaintiff must then show that the defendant’s actions demonstrate a breach of the standard of care. Finally, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s departure from the standard proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer actual harm. In other words, the defendant’s breach was a primary factor in bringing about the plaintiff’s losses.

Typically a plaintiff will need to hire a medical expert that practices in the same field as the defendant to explain the standard of care to the judge or jury and describe how the defendant deviated from the standard. Additionally, the expert will need to causally link the defendant’s acts or omissions to the plaintiff's harm. In some instances, a plaintiff will need to retain a second expert to testify regarding the extent and permanency of the harm caused by the plaintiff and to explain what treatment the plaintiff required and will need in the future as a result.

Speak With a Trusted Attorney in Baltimore

Kidney cancer is a devastating disease, and an early diagnosis is usually critical to a favorable prognosis. If you or a loved one suffered damages because a doctor failed to diagnose kidney cancer, it is in your best interest to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your rights. The attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are mindful of the physical, emotional, and economic losses negligent healthcare providers can cause, and if we represent you, we will work tirelessly to help you pursue the best legal outcome available in your case. We regularly represent people in medical malpractice lawsuits in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can reach us via our form online or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a meeting.