Trachea Cancer - Medical Malpractice Lawyer

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Thousands of Canadian citizens are diagnosed with trachea cancer every year however only a minority are diagnosed early enough to affect a cure. The key to survival of cancer of the trachea is early diagnosis and treatment which is often delayed due to misdiagnosis or misinterpreted test results. Tracheal cancer misdiagnosis is extremely common and failure by a healthcare practitioner that amounts to negligence is a matter of medical malpractice and entitles the victim to claim financial recompense for pain and suffering or the loss of opportunity for a cure. Our specialist medical malpractice lawyers deal with tracheal cancer clinical negligence cases against doctors, nurses, technicians and other healthcare providers working in medical practices, clinics, hospitals and all other places where health care is dispensed. If you would like advice about tracheal cancer misdiagnosis just contact our offices and a specialist medical malpractice lawyer with call to discuss your potential compensation claim without charge and without further obligation. Our trachea cancer medical malpractice lawyers will give you their opinion on the liability of the negligent healthcare provider and will estimate the amount of the likely award of damages there and then.

Trachea Cancer Misdiagnosis Facts

Trachea cancers are fortunately quite infrequent. They account for less than one percent of all cancers. The incidence of tracheal cancer that is primary (not metastatic disease) is about 3 per million individuals per year. Even so, it has specific symptoms and signs so it shouldn¹t be misdiagnosed, even with a doctor that hasn¹t seen many cases of tracheal cancer.

About 80 percent of all primary tumors of the trachea are malignant, meaning they are cancerous. The remaining 20 percent are benign tumors. The two main types of tracheal malignancies include squamous cell carcinoma and adenoid cystic carcinoma. There can be several types of secondary cancers to the trachea, primarily from the esophagus, the larynx, the thyroid, and the lung. The incidence of primary tracheal cancer is three times more common in men than in women. The peak incidence occurs in a person¹s fifties and sixties. The overall survival rate is 27 percent after 3 years and 13 percent after five years.

There is no known cause of tracheal cancer except for squamous papillomas, which are related to a viral infection. The trachea is also known as the windpipe and is the tube that air travels through on its way to the lungs. Smoking is a risk factor for squamous cell tracheal cancer. This is the type of cancer more common in men older than 60 years. Adenoid cystic cancer of the trachea is not linked to smoking and occurs in individuals between 40 and 60 years of age.

The major signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer include breathlessness, a nonproductive cough, problems swallowing, a hoarse voice, a chest infection that is recurrent, coughing up blood and significant wheezing. These symptoms can occur in noncancerous conditions but still need to be investigated thoroughly to make sure the problem isn¹t cancerous.

Doctors diagnose trachea cancer in several ways. A CT scan, plain x-ray or MRI scan of the neck and chest can show a bulging cancer of the trachea. A bronchoscopy can be done which involves the use of a flexible scope to go into the trachea and biopsy suspicious areas of cancerous cells. Doctors often misdiagnose cancer of the trachea and call it ªasthmaº or ªbronchitisº but prolonged symptoms of these diseases should be looked into as possibly being tracheal cancer, especially if it comes along with generic symptoms of cancer like weight loss and fatigue.

Tracheal cancer is staged according to the TNM method. This looks at the size of the tumor, the lymph nodes involved (if any), and whether or not there is metastatic disease. There is also a number staging method that usually goes from I to IV. Stage I disease is well localized to the trachea. Stage II disease means the cancer has spread from the boundaries of the trachea. Stage III disease means lymph nodes near the trachea are involved and stage IV means that the disease is metastatic. Staging the cancer can help determine the treatment used and helps in understanding the prognosis of the disease.

Grading of trachea cancer is also done. Grading refers to how aggressive the cancer cells are. Doctors can tell the grade of the cancer after looking at a biopsy under the microscope. High grade tumors have a worse outcome than low grade tumors.

The treatment of tracheal cancer depends on the grade and the stage of the cancer. The mainstays of tracheal cancer therapy include surgery to remove the cancer and radiotherapy to get rid of the remaining cancer of the trachea. Tracheal cancer is somewhat sensitive to radiation therapy. Doctors can do radiation first to shrink the tumor and then do surgery to get rid of the smaller tumor. Chemotherapy is considered palliative and is used to reduce symptoms and to prolong the person's life. Other forms of treatment include brachytherapy, which involves inserting radioactive beads into the cancer so that it works directly on the cancer, laser therapy, which burns off the tumor, and cryotherapy, which uses liquid nitrogen to freeze off remaining cells that may be cancerous.

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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here