Lung Cancer - Medical Malpractice Lawyers
LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
Our medical malpractice lawyers deal with Lung Cancer negligence cases. If you would like legal advice at no cost and with no further obligation just call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our lawyers offices. Our Lung Cancer medical malpractice lawyers usually deal with personal injury compensation cases on a contingency basis which means that you only pay your lawyers legal fees if the case is won.
This condition is usually diagnosed by a biopsy which is the removal of a small sample of tissue for examination under a microscope by a pathologist. A number of procedures may be used to obtain this tissue:
- A hypodermic needle is inserted into the tumour through the chest wall to remove a tissue sample.
- A bronchoscope is inserted through the mouth or nose and into the windpipe to look at the lungs and collect small samples of tissue.
- Laparoscopy techniques can be used to obtain a tissue sample.
- A small amount of the fluid that surrounds the lungs can removed using a hypodermic needle.
Other tests can be used to determine the extent of the lung cancer including:
- Mediastinoscopy can determine whether cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the chest.
- Radionuclide scanning can show whether cancer has spread to other organs, such as the liver.
- MRI, CAT or CT scan.
The usual key to successful treatment is early diagnosis and many medical mistakes can lead to a delay in diagnosis which may deprive patients of the chance for a cure. If health care professionals fail through their negligence to diagnose this illness in a timely manner then they may become liable to pay compensation for lung cancer medical malpractice. Delays in diagnosis may cause a worsening of the illness and are often as a result of failure to :-
- Refer to a patient who exhibits typical symptoms to a specialist.
- Have a biopsy performed when the physical examination results are abnormal.
- Make arrangements to carry out the appropriate tests when a patient exhibits symptoms.
- Take appropriate action following receipt of an unfavorable biopsy results.
- Monitor patients with cancer in the family.
- Recommend appropriate treatment options.
- Retrieve lost records, notes and test results.
Asbestos & Smoking
There is a well documented increased in the incidence in individuals who are exposed to asbestos fibers. While cigarette smoking is the most well known cause, asbestos is recognized as a potent lung carcinogen particularly when combined with cigarette smoking. Studies have revealed that when both asbestos fibers and cigarette smoke are inhaled, there is a synergistic effect which multiplies the risk of each carcinogen. It is estimated that smokers who are also exposed to asbestos have seven times more chance of contracting cancer of the lungs.
Lung Cancer Overview
Lung cancer happens when certain types of lung cells mutate their DNA so that they grow out of control. The cells form a mass called a malignant tumour. Lung cancer is highly dangerous and commonly metastasizes to liver, brain and other lung tissue. Approximately 90 to 95 percent of cancers of the lung are believed to arise from the epithelial cells that line the bronchi and bronchioles of the lungs. Lung cancer can also arise from the lining of the lung and is called a mesothelioma.
Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths in the world. There are about 200,000 or more lung cancer cases diagnosed in the US and about 157,000 of these people will die from their disease. The rate of lung cancer is about 1 in 14 individuals. Most cases occur in those over the age of 65 years. Less than three percent occur in those younger than forty-five years of age. Lung cancer used to be rare until people started smoking regularly. Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer. The incidence of lung cancer in any country is directly related to how many people smoke. In developed countries, lung cancer exceeds breast cancer in death rates among women.
As mentioned, smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer. Those with 30 pack year history of lung cancer or more are at the greatest risk. Smoking of pipes and cigars also cause lung cancer but at a lesser rate. Second-hand smoke is another cause of lung cancer as is exposure to asbestos fibres, which get stuck in the lungs and can trigger mesothelioma and other lung cancers. Smokers exposed to asbestos have an extremely high risk of lung cancer. Exposure to radon gas contributes to lung cancer. About 12 percent of lung cancer patients get it from radon exposure in the ground. There is a mild family predisposition toward getting lung cancer. Patients with chronic obstructive lung disease have a mild predisposition toward getting lung cancer at a rate that is 4-6 fold higher than other individuals. Air pollution accounts for one percent of all lung cancer cases.
Lung cancer is divided into several categories, mainly small cell cancer and non-small cell cancers. This is a classification based on the appearance of the cells under the microscope. They react differently from one another when it comes to treatment so it is important to distinguish between the two when the disease is diagnosed.
Small cell cancer makes up 20 percent of lung cancer cases. It is especially aggressive but is more sensitive to chemotherapy than non small cell carcinoma. It is strongly related to smoking history.
Non small cell carcinomas make up 80 percent of all lung cancers. There are three basic types. These include adenocarcinomas (the most common type of non small cell cancer), squamous cell cancer, which accounts for 30 percent of all non small cell carcinomas and large cell carcinomas. Some of these cancers come as mixtures of lung cancer cells. Bronchial carcinoid tumours account for 5 percent of lung cancers. They occur most commonly in young people and are unrelated to smoking. They can secrete hormones which can result in paraneoplastic syndromes. They tend to grow more slowly than other lung cancers and can be treated just with surgical resection.
Signs and symptoms of lung cancer occur in 75 percent of individuals. They include cough, production of bloody sputum, unexplained weight loss and fatigue. There can be chest pain, shoulder pain or paralysis of the vocal cords. Secondary pneumonia is common if the bronchial tree is blocked. Difficulty swallowing is another side effect. There can be many different medications related to metastasis of the lung cancer. Paraneoplastic syndromes are hormonal syndromes occurring in some lung cancers because of secretion of hormones by the cancer. Cancers can secrete cortisol and cause Cushing's syndrome.
The treatment of lung cancer includes resection of the cancer in some cases, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Small cell cancer responds best to chemotherapy and is often not treated with surgical excision. The surgery can be the removal of the tumour, the lobe of the lung or of the entire half of the lung involved in the cancer. Radiation can be used for all types of cancer. Brachytherapy includes putting in radioactive chips or beads that direct the radiation at a specific area of the lung and doesn't employ external beam radiation.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Our lung cancer medical malpractice lawyers are currently arranging representation for people from all around Canada who have been injured by medical malpractice. All of our lawyers use contingency fee arrangements to represent their clients in lung cancer medical malpractice cases - if your lawyer doesn't achieve settlement then he doesn't get paid. If you have been a victim of lung cancer medical malpractice in Canada we can assist you to assert your legal rights to receive the compensation that you need and deserve.
Early diagnosis of lung cancer may mean less financial hardship, less pain and suffering, and a greater chance of survival. If you believe that a hospital, clinic, doctor, radiologist, nurse or technician has been responsible for medical malpractice and you would like free advice on personal injury settlements then just call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices and a medical malpractice lawyer will telephone you with no obligation.
LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here