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Failure to Diagnose Pancreatic Cancer

Attorneys Assisting Clients in Baltimore

People who have pancreatic cancer often suffer from symptoms for a long time before they are diagnosed. Sadly, though, many doctors disregard their patients’ reports of symptoms that may indicate cancer is present and neglect to conduct appropriate diagnostic tests until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. Pancreatic cancer is a devastating illness that requires prompt treatment, and if it is not diagnosed in a timely manner, it often causes substantial damages. If you or a loved one suffered harm because of a doctor’s failure to diagnose pancreatic cancer, you might be able to recover compensation via a malpractice claim, and you should consult a lawyer as soon as possible. The Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are aware of the profound losses medical negligence can cause, and if we represent you, we will work tirelessly to aid you in the pursuit of a just outcome.

Signs and Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest types of the disease and is often not diagnosed until it has spread to other parts of the body. There are specific factors, such as obesity, cigarette smoking, advanced age, family history, and exposure to certain chemicals that can increase a person’s risk of getting pancreatic cancer, but the disease can strike people regardless of their overall health. Symptoms that may indicate a person has pancreatic cancer include unintended weight loss, lack of appetite, and pain in the back and abdomen. Jaundice, chronic nausea, and changes in the color of urine and bowel movements may suggest a person has pancreatic cancer as well. An array of tests are usually needed to diagnose pancreatic cancer, including blood tests, CT scans, MRIs, and biopsies.

Proving Liability for the Failure to Diagnose Pancreatic Cancer

Patients who suffer harm due to a doctor’s failure to diagnose pancreatic cancer often have grounds to pursue medical malpractice claims. In most instances, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit will allege that the defendant healthcare provider acted negligently.

Under Maryland law, a plaintiff averring a medical negligence claim must establish a duty owed by the defendant. Generally, the duty owed is the obligation to treat the plaintiff in a manner that complies with the applicable standard of care, which is care that a reasonable professional working in the same specialty would provide in the same situation. The plaintiff then has to prove that the defendant’s acts or failure to act constitute a breach of the standard of care. For example, if a competent doctor who was presented with a patient with the plaintiff’s symptoms would escalate testing and the defendant failed to do so, it may demonstrate a breach of the standard.

Finally, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s departure from the standard caused the plaintiff to suffer actual harm. In other words, that the injuries that the plaintiff sustained would not have occurred if the defendant had offered appropriate care. As most people lack independent knowledge of the duties imposed on doctors, explaining the standard of care to the jury and showing that the defendant harmed the plaintiff by breaching the standard usually requires the testimony of a medical expert with experience working in the same field as the defendant. Expert testimony is also typically needed to establish the damages the plaintiff suffered and to show what care the plaintiff needed or will require in the future due to the missed diagnosis.

Speak to a Knowledgeable Attorney in Baltimore

Many people’s lives are tragically diminished or cut short by their doctors’ failure to diagnose pancreatic cancer, despite ongoing symptoms indicating they are critically ill. If you or someone you love sustained damages due to the failures of a physician, you should speak to a lawyer regarding your rights. The attorneys of Arfaa Law Group have the skills and experience needed to help you seek a favorable result, and we will develop compelling arguments in favor of your recovery of compensation. We have an office in Baltimore, where we regularly represent people in medical malpractice cases. You can contact us through our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a meeting.