Performing a biopsy is a useful way to diagnose conditions that require a deeper examination of tissue to confirm or rule out the presence of cancer, cirrhosis or other conditions. The Chicago biopsy attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have represented the needs of patients whose conditions worsened due to the failure of their physicians to conduct the proper testing to locate and determine the presence of an illness which required quick treatment. Detecting conditions such as cancer or hepatitis early greatly increase the patients’ chances of survival and it is for this reason that doctors must order a biopsy if there is any reason at all to suspect something may be wrong.
Different Forms of Biopsies
Most people associate biopsies with the detection of cancer, but they are generally ordered whenever a doctor finds something that he or she needs to review further prior to confirming a diagnosis or to reveal more information that could help in the formation of a diagnosis. A biopsy can also be used to determine how far a condition like cancer has progressed and to determine what treatment options are most viable to limit its spread and provide the greatest chance of survival. The different types of biopsies your doctor may order include the following.
- CT-Guided biopsy. During these biopsies, doctors will use the images revealed during a CT scan to find the exact placement of the tissue they need to examine prior to inserting a needle to recover the targeted cells.
- Ultrasound-Guided biopsy. Instead of using a CT scan to determine targeted tissue placement, doctors use the images provided by an ultrasound.
- Bone biopsy. An orthopedic surgeon may be required to assist in the recovery of bone cells to determine whether the patient has a form of bone cancer.
- Bone marrow biopsy. This test is used to diagnose leukemia or lymphoma and is conducted by inserting a long needle into the pelvis to retrieve bone marrow.
- Liver biopsy. Useful both as a means to detect cancer of the liver or cirrhosis which may allow doctors to confirm a diagnosis of hepatitis, this test is performed by inserting a needle into the liver through the abdomen.
- Kidney biopsy. A needle is inserted through the back to recover tissue from the kidney that can be used to diagnose kidney disorders.
- Skin biopsy. To detect the presence of cancer cell on a skin abnormality, a circular blade is used to take a sample of the skin for further testing and examination.
If you felt that your doctor delayed in ordering a biopsy and your prognosis suffered as a result, our Chicago biopsy attorneys will be happy to look into your case to determine whether it merits further investigation.
Early Detection Improves Survival Rate
When cancer or other conditions that biopsies are useful in detecting are allowed to progress, it is possible for cancerous cells to move to other areas of the body or for organs to suffer irreparable damage due to the worsening of a medical condition, such as cirrhosis of the liver. Survival rates for cancer diminish greatly as it moves into later stages, for example. The five-year survival rate of women suffering from Stage I and II breast cancer is 100% and 93%, respectively. It then drops to 72% and 22% as it progresses to the next stages. Other forms of cancer show very similar drops in survival rates as the illness progresses and are most treatable when detected in the first two stages.
Detecting cancer during its early stages is also important when considering the movement of cancer to other areas of the body. As the cancer is allowed to progress without treatment, it may begin to spread to other areas and affect organs that are more difficult to treat. Detecting cirrhosis early in patients with chronic hepatitis can make a marked impact on their prognosis as well because severe cirrhosis becomes irreversible.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a medical condition that worsened because your doctor did not order a biopsy at the onset of your symptoms, you may be entitled to recover compensation. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is the leading medical malpractice firm in Illinois and we have represented thousands of clients who suffered complications and injuries due to medical errors and the failure of doctors to meet their duty of care.
Biopsy Malpractice Awards
$1,000,000 Settlement; Biopsy Malpractice; Cook County, Illinois
Often times, physicians fail to order a biopsy. In this case, the results were not sufficiently translated and understood. The consequences were devastating. The patient was a female in her late seventies. She had a lesion on his tongue. The doctors performed a biopsy to determine the pathological cause. They identified it as cancer. Yet, doctors did not relay this finding for some time. That delay allowed the cancer to metastasize and take her life. Her husband and children survived her. They filed a lawsuit against the doctors that treated her as well as the facility where she received treatment. They alleged that the defendants' negligent biopsy evaluation and communication was directly responsible for her death. Any objections the defendants had to this claim could not be scrutinized because the matter ended in settlement. The family received $1 million for their pain, grief, and costs.
$3,000,000 Settlement; Biopsy Malpractice; Cook County, Illinois
The plaintiff who brought this action was fifty. In 2014, he had a biopsy done. Medical staff took specimens from under the nail on his thumb. They told him he did not have cancer. He thought all was fine. However, one year later, he had another biopsy done. That lab tested positive for cancer. Also, upon a review, it appeared that the 2014 biopsy indicated cancer as well but it was incorrectly interpreted. In the meantime, the man's cancer had gone from Stage I all the way to Stage III. Now, he needed chemotherapy where less intensive methods would have sufficed earlier. Further, his health outlook was reduced because of the advanced state of cancer. He sued the doctors involved as well as the facility where the events took place. He alleged their negligent biopsy interpretation damaged him. He claimed various losses including pain, bills, reduced life expectancy, and lost normalcy of life. The parties settled for a reported $3 million. The bulk of that was paid by the defendant hospital.
$1.250,000 Settlement; Biopsy Malpractice; DuPage County, Illinois
The patient here needed a biopsy because of prostate problems. He was about sixty-four at the time. He had that procedure done in November of 2004. However, it later became apparent that that biopsy sample was not enough. Regardless, doctors used that inadequate result to determine that he was negative for cancer. His providers referred back to this faulty biopsy for years until in the end of 2006. Then, his physicians diagnosed him with prostate cancer. However, due to the delay in diagnosis, the cancer had metastasized and spread throughout his body. They tried to treat it but it would not get better. The cancer was terminable. He passed away in November of 2007. He was just sixty-six. His wife survived him. She brought a lawsuit against the doctors and hospital. She claimed the negligent biopsy directly caused his death. Despite that negligence, he would have lived a longer and better life she reasoned. Also, she was left with bills (over $30,000 of them) as well as pain, suffering, grief, and other damages. The defendants' replies were not made public. All parties settled for a reported $1.25 million.
$4,527,831 Verdict; Biopsy Malpractice; Cook County, Illinois
The facts of this case are unique. The plaintiff was in her late thirties when the events arose. She saw a doctor because she had abdominal pain. The doctor examined her, conducted a biopsy, but found nothing significant. He discharged her. Her pain persisted thought. She went back to the doctor a little over one year later. Different doctors discovered that she had cancer. Also, they realized that the previous doctor misread the prior biopsy and that it showed cancer as well. Due to this delay, the cancer had spread. Physicians needed to employ more aggressive surgical operations, chemotherapy techniques, and other treatments. In fact, some of her stomach even had to be removed. She sued the original doctors and the facility where they worked. Her complaint stated they were negligent in their reading of the biopsy. She claimed this caused the rapid decline in her health with no ability to recoup it. Also, much of her claim centered on the fact that the cancer might return and her quality and expectancy of life were reduced because of it. The defendants disagreed that it would reappear. Yet, the jury agreed with the plaintiff. They awarded her over $4 million. That compensation was for medical bills, lost wages, past and future pain, lost normal life, and increased risk of harm.
Contact us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Chicago biopsy attorneys, who can review your case and discuss your legal options at the time and location more convenient for you. If for any reason we are unable to assist you in recovering compensation for your medical bills, pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses, you will not owe us a thing.