The Law Offices of Charles Dunn
Lubbock County Medical Malpractice Attorney
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Diagnosing cancer

Diagnosing cancer can be difficult, though there are certain steps that Texas doctors can take. When a patient has a potential cancer symptom or a screening test result suggests that the patient might have cancer, the doctor may order a number of different diagnostic tests or procedures in order to make a formal diagnosis.

When a doctor suspects cancer, he or she may order lab tests to look for certain substances in the body. High or low levels of certain substances can potentially be a sign of cancer, so the doctor may order tests that measure these substances in the blood or urine. It is important to note, however, that additional tests will need to be performed before a diagnosis can be made.

Imaging procedures, including CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds can be used to find tumors and other abnormalities in the body. Each of the imaging procedures use different technology to give doctors a picture of patients' organs and other tissues. Another diagnostic test a doctor may use to make a cancer diagnosis is a biopsy. During this type of procedure, a doctor may remove a small tissue sample. The sample is then observed under a microscope to see if there are cancer cells present.

When cancer is suspected, getting a timely diagnosis is incredibly important, because patients need the chance to make decisions regarding their treatment and medical care. The failure to diagnose cancer early on can leave patients with limited options and the need for more aggressive treatment. A medical malpractice attorney may determine if the cause of the delay was the failure to provide the required standard of care. If so, it might be advisable to seek appropriate compensation through the filing of a lawsuit against the practitioner.

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