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Misdiagnosis of Bladder and Ovarian Cancer Lawyers in Pittsburgh

Ovarian cancer statistics are sobering. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 14,276 women died in 2013 (the last year for which information was available in 2016) from ovarian cancer. Even though ovarian cancer is the ninth most common cancer among women, it is the fifth most common cause of cancer death. In short, women die from ovarian cancer at a rate greater than the rate of the cancer itself.

Bladder Cancer

Unlike ovarian cancer, bladder cancer affects both men and women, although bladder cancer is four times more common in men. In 2913, 15,757 men and women died from bladder cancer. While the death rate each year (number of deaths divided by the number of new diagnoses) from bladder cancer is much smaller than the death rate of ovarian cancer, 22 percent vs 68 percent, it is a serious condition.

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms and Misdiagnoses

Ovarian cancer is often called a silent killer because it has very few symptoms until the cancer has progressed. That makes it critical to diagnose the cancer quickly once a woman reports symptoms to her doctor. Unfortunately, patients need to be persistent. Doctors ignore patient reports of symptoms or never move on from the first benign misdiagnosis even after treatment does not alleviate the symptoms.

Doctors frequently ignore women who present with symptoms such as:

  • Abdominal swelling and bloating
  • Pelvic pressure or abdominal pain
  • Feeling full quickly when eating
  • Urinary symptoms such as urgency or frequency

Misdiagnoses include conditions such as a weak pelvic floor, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), eating disorders, allergies, diverticulitis, acid reflux, urinary tract infections, or menopausal symptoms. 

Common Bladder Cancer Misdiagnoses

Bladder cancer can also be misdiagnosed. Doctors frequently misdiagnose bladder cancer as cystitis or other urinary tract infections and prostate infection. These are treated with antibiotics, which have no effect on bladder cancer. By the time the bladder cancer is diagnosed after a delay caused by an initial misdiagnosis, the cancer may have spread to the point where the bladder must be removed.

Actions such as these could signal medical malpractice in the treatment of bladder cancer include:

  • Failure or delay to do a biopsy
  • Failure or delay to do imaging studies such as X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan or MRI scan
  • Failure or delay to perform a cystoscopy
  • Failure of family physician or general practitioner to refer patient to specialist

When patients report such actions in combination with the spread of bladder cancer, they may be eligible for relief through the legal system.

Contact Our Western Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawyers

When either bladder cancer or ovarian cancer is misdiagnosed and the cancer spreads, the reason is usually a delay in treatment. While the doctor prescribes treatment for some other illness of condition, the real problem is becoming worse.

If this happened to you or a loved one, the lawyers at Berger & Lagnese may be able to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation to review your case. Remember, there is no attorney’s fee unless we succeed in obtaining justice for you.

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