Failure to Diagnose Brain Cancer
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Failure to timely and correctly diagnose a brain tumor can have devastating consequences for the patient. While symptoms of a brain tumor may vary among patients, proper diagnostic tests can usually indicate the presence of a tumor in the brain. A tumor is a group of abnormal cells that form a mass and can cause innumerable problems in the affected area. A tumor located in the brain takes up space in the skull and can disrupt normal brain activity. Because of the complexity of the human brain, any number of bodily functions may be affected. The tumor’s location within the brain determines the type of symptoms that may occur. These symptoms can include severe headaches, blurred vision, numbness or tingling in the arms or legs, nausea, vomiting, and slurred speech. Often a brain tumor may present symptoms that appear more like a neurological disorder or other medical condition. Because of this, a doctor who is not thoroughly examining a patient and considering all of the medical evidence and possibilities may misdiagnose a brain tumor.
There are more than 120 types of brain and central nervous system (CNS) tumors. Today, most medical institutions use the World Health Organization (WHO) classification system to identify brain tumors. The WHO classifies brain tumors by cell origin and how the cells behave, from the least aggressive (benign) to the most aggressive (malignant). Some tumor types are assigned a grade, ranging from Grade I (least malignant) to Grade IV (most malignant), which signifies the rate of growth. There are variations in grading systems, depending on the tumor type. The classification and grade of an individual tumor help predict its likely behavior. Some examples of brain tumors and central nervous system tumors include: Acoustic Neuroma, Astrocytoma, Glioblastoma (GBM), Gliomas, Subependymoma, Medulloblastoma, Meningioma, Metastatic Brain Tumors, Oligodendroglioma, Pituitary Tumors, Primitive Neuroectodermal (PNET), Schwannoma.
Tumors can grow rapidly and may quickly progress to the point that they are beyond control, and prompt diagnosis is crucial for treatment and recovery. Diagnosis typically involves several steps, including a neurological examination, brain scans (i.e. MRI, CT or PET scan), EEG, spinal tap, biopsy, skull X-ray, angiogram, and a myelogram. Brain cancer can be treated depending upon the size, location, and advancement of the cancer. Other factors that affect brain cancer treatment include the age and overall health of the patient being treated. As in the treatment of any other cancer, early diagnosis and proper treatment is key to any successful outcome.
The experienced Ohio brain cancer misdiagnosis lawyers at The O’Keefe Firm have a track record of success in failure to diagnose cases. Our attorneys rely on medical experts to help review their client’s cases and determine where errors were made in diagnosis and treatment. If your physician failed to diagnose your brain cancer or misdiagnosed it initially, you may be able to hold them liable for their negligence. Contact our brain cancer attorneys today for a free consultation.