Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is a disease where cancer cells form and grow within the lining of your stomach. It is usually a slow-growing disease, but like most cancers, it becomes more difficult to treat the longer it stays in your body. Early detection is critical to having the best chance of a full recovery. And critical to early detection is having a doctor who recognizes the symptoms and makes a timely diagnosis.
If your doctor misdiagnosed or failed to diagnose your stomach cancer, and you suffered harm because of your doctor’s failure, you might have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. A stomach cancer misdiagnosis lawyer from Pintas & Mullins can help. We hold doctors accountable when they fail to diagnose serious diseases, and their patients suffer.
For a free case evaluation, call Pintas & Mullins at 800-916-7333.
Understand the Symptoms and Risk Factors of Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer has a long list of common symptoms. Though many symptoms on the list are also associated with other conditions, most of them not life-threatening, your doctor’s job is not to rule out any condition, particularly one as serious as cancer, without first ordering testing to make sure you are free of the disease.
If you presented symptoms associated with stomach cancer to your doctor, and your doctor did not follow up and test for the condition, we can use this failure to argue that your doctor was negligent.
Stomach cancer, moreover, has several risk factors. Certain genetic or lifestyle characteristics can heighten your risk of developing the disease. Your doctor has a duty to be aware of these risk factors.
Common Symptoms of Stomach Cancer
- Stomach pain
- Blood in the stool
- Excessive vomiting
- Unintentional and unexplained weight loss
- Difficulty swallowing
- Yellowish skin or eyes
- Swelling in the stomach area
- Irregular bowel movements, including constipation and diarrhea
- Excessive weakness
- Constant fatigue
Your doctor’s job is to use professional discretion as well as common sense when you present one or more of these symptoms at a check-up or an appointment. Just because you show up with heartburn does not mean we should reasonably expect your doctor to start sounding off alarm bells for stomach cancer.
But if you have multiple symptoms or symptoms paired with one or more of the risk factors listed below, and your doctor is not able to tie your symptoms conclusively to another cause, they have a duty to order further evaluation.
Common Risk Factors of Stomach Cancer
- Frequent consumption of salty foods
- Stomach surgery for an ulcer
- Type-A blood
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Certain genetic conditions
- A history of working in the coal, metal, timber, or rubber industries
- Asbestos exposure
Your doctor has a responsibility to learn whether you have one or more of these risk factors. A doctor can do this by asking questions and learning about your medical history.
How a Stomach Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Can Help
At Pintas & Mullins, our lawyers understand what it takes to build a winning medical malpractice case for stomach cancer misdiagnosis. Our attorneys have helped many clients recover compensation from negligent doctors who failed to diagnose their serious illnesses promptly.
By showing evidence of these four conditions, we can show that your doctor is liable for medical malpractice:
- A duty of care owed to you by your doctor.
- A failure by your doctor to uphold this duty of care.
- Harm suffered by you because of your doctor’s failure.
- Specific damages incurred by you from your injuries.
Duty of Care
If you were an active patient of the doctor in question, the doctor had a duty of care to you. Doctors have this duty to anyone with whom they have a doctor-patient relationship. And we can show the existence of this relationship by pointing to billing statements, insurance paperwork, lab tests ordered by the doctor on your behalf, and other evidence.
Failure by Doctor
Once we have established a duty of care, we can show that your doctor abdicated this duty. We do this by comparing your doctor’s actions to those of a reasonable person in the same situation. In a medical malpractice case, the reasonable person is another doctor faced with the same circumstances. To represent this reasonable person, we bring in medical expert witnesses.
Our expert witnesses review the evidence and state whether they believe another physician presented with the same information as your doctor would have made the correct diagnosis and made it earlier. If so, we can show that your doctor did not meet the reasonable person standard and therefore did not uphold their duty of care.
Injury or Harm
We can link your doctor’s failure to uphold their duty to your injury by presenting medical records and other evidence of the harm you suffered from not receiving a timely diagnosis of your stomach cancer. Our expert witnesses can help here, as well, because they can offer insight on how much easier your cancer would have been to treat had it been diagnosed sooner.
Finally, to recover compensation from your doctor, we have to show the specific damages you incurred from your injuries. These damages include economic losses, such as your medical bills, and non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering. If your doctor was not merely negligent but behaved maliciously or recklessly, we can request punitive damages, as well.
Receive a Free Case Evaluation with Pintas & Mullins
At Pintas & Mullins, our lawyers focus on medical malpractice, and we have helped victims of stomach cancer misdiagnosis recover the compensation they deserve for their injuries. We want to hold the doctor whose negligence caused you harm accountable.