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Failure to Diagnose Liver Cancer

Baltimore Attorneys Representing Parties in Medical Malpractice Cases

Liver cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers and one of the deadliest. The symptoms of liver cancer may mimic other ailments, and if doctors carelessly neglect to investigate the underlying cause of their patients' complaints, liver cancer may go undiagnosed until it has spread to other parts of the body and become difficult to treat. If you were injured or lost a loved one due to a doctor's failure to diagnose liver cancer, you have the right to seek compensation for your harm, and you should speak to an attorney. The Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are dedicated to helping people injured by the incompetence of their health care providers, and if you engage our services, we will tirelessly pursue the best outcome available under the facts of your case.

Symptoms of Liver Cancer

Certain factors and conditions increase the risk of liver cancer, such as smoking, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and hepatitis. Thus, if a patient is at risk for liver cancer and presents with concerning symptoms, the doctor treating the patient should include liver cancer as a potential diagnosis.

Symptoms of liver cancer include abdominal pain, unintended weight loss, fever, sweating, itching, and nausea. People with liver cancer also frequently suffer from back pain and jaundice. If a patient presents with some or all of these symptoms, doctors will typically perform a blood test to determine if the liver is functioning correctly. Additionally, testing, such as ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRIs, may be used to determine if there are masses on the liver. If a mass is present, a biopsy will likely be performed to determine if it is cancer or a benign tumor.

Once diagnosed, treatment for liver cancer includes surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. When diagnosed in a localized stage, treatment is frequently effective. If liver cancer is not diagnosed until it spreads, however, it is often fatal. 

Establishing Liability for the Failure to Diagnose Liver Cancer

The failure to diagnose liver cancer often constitutes medical malpractice, and people harmed by such errors may be able to recover damages in civil lawsuits. As delayed and missed diagnoses are usually caused by neglect, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit will usually set forth a negligence claim against the defendant. Under Maryland law, proving medical negligence requires the plaintiff to show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty and a breach of the duty. Generally, the duty owed is to provide treatment that comports with the standard of care, which is the care that a reasonable doctor practicing in the same specialty would render under a similar set of facts. In the majority of medical malpractice cases, expert testimony is needed to explain the standard of care that applies and to how the defendant breached the standard.

After establishing the duty and breach, the plaintiff must then show that the breach proximately caused the plaintiff's damages. This means that the plaintiff has to produce evidence demonstrating that the defendant's failure to diagnose liver cancer caused the plaintiff to suffer actual harm. In many instances, the defendant will argue that the losses sustained by the plaintiff were inevitable and were not caused by a delay in diagnosis. Thus, expert testimony is also needed to prove that the harm suffered was caused by the defendant's failure to abide by the standard of care.

Meet with an Experienced Baltimore Attorney

Liver cancer is a devastating disease, and a prompt diagnosis is critical to a good prognosis. If you or a loved one sustained harm due to a doctor's failure to diagnose liver cancer, it is advisable to meet with an attorney to discuss your potential claims. The experienced Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are well-versed in what it takes to achieve favorable outcomes in medical malpractice cases, and if we represent you, we will zealously pursue the best possible outcome under the facts of your case. We regularly represent people in medical malpractice cases in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can reach via our online form or by calling us at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.