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Failure to Diagnose Cancer Attorneys in New York

Failure to Diagnose Cancer Lawyers in New York State

Should your cancer have been diagnosed sooner? If so, you’re not alone. The only thing worse than learning you have cancer is learning it should have been diagnosed sooner.


Early detection of cancer is critical. The sooner cancer is diagnosed, the higher the likelihood it will respond favorably to treatment, and even be cured. When a cancer diagnosis is delayed, the cancer will often spread, and be untreatable by the time of diagnosis.


Our team of experienced trial lawyers enjoy a distinguished track record of obtaining top-level verdicts and settlements for our clients who have fallen victim to a doctor’s failure to make a timely cancer diagnosis.  Our legal team works with some of the country’s preeminent medical experts to investigate and build your case to ensure optimal recoveries.


There are many types of cancer that can be detected through routine medical “screening” or testing. Too often, medical providers fail to follow well-established national medical protocols, and fail to order simple tests that would lead to an early diagnosis, when our client’s cancer would have been curable. Doctors also often misread test results or fail to advise our clients that their test results were abnormal—leading to lengthy delays in making a diagnosis.


Too often, people are diagnosed with late-stage cancers that could and should have been detected in their early stages, but because their cancer wasn’t diagnosed earlier, they face the prospect of an early death, terrible physical and emotional pain and suffering, mounting medical expenses, all because a physician failed to recommend routine screening and testing, or misread a critical test.





Our team of trial lawyers and medical experts at Porter Nordby Howe LLP have extensive experience and a distinguished track record of success prosecuting these types of medical malpractice cases in New York, and we routinely hold physicians accountable for failing to take steps to identify and diagnose cancer in a timely manner, thereby denying our clients the benefit of available treatments, longer survival and, in many cases, a cure. Learning that you have cancer is hard enough, but learning that you were denied the opportunity for a treatment or cure because your doctor committed malpractice in New York is a fate that no person should have to endure. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a late stage cancer in New York, and you have questions about whether it should have been diagnosed earlier, we can help you get answers.


Medical malpractice cases involving delayed cancer diagnoses routinely involve certain types of cancer which can and should be discovered through routine medical screening/testing as recommended by many authoritative medical bodies (including the American Cancer Society). The American Cancer Society publishes clear guidelines for physicians to follow with their patients for early detection and treatment of the following types of cancer:


  • Breast Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancers
  • Endometrial Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Skin Cancer/Melanoma





You should call us if you or a loved one has been the victim of a late cancer diagnosis because your doctor:


  • failed to order routine screening or testing prior to your diagnosis;
  • ordered tests but never shared the results with you;
  • misread test results;
  • ignored your symptoms;
  • failed to refer you to an appropriate specialist (e.g., gastroenterologist, gynecologist, endocrinologist, pulmonologist, urologist, dermatologist, or other specialist); or
  • failed to consider your medical or family history.





Denying a patient the benefit of well-established screening and testing protocols constitutes gross medical malpractice. We rely upon some of the world’s foremost medical experts to thoroughly review and investigate your case, and our proven track record of success in this field proves that our approach works. We have sought out and obtained justice for individuals who could have and should have had their cancer discovered earlier, at a time when it was treatable or even curable. Visit our Recent Results page to see examples of the results we’ve obtained for our clients.


We know that a fatal or debilitating cancer, that could have been diagnosed earlier, can have a devastating effect on you and your family. If you or a loved one has been injured by this sort of medical malpractice in New York, you may be entitled to compensation for damages including:


  • Past & future loss of income or earning capacity
  • Past & future medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Physical and/or mental impairment
  • Disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of spousal services
  • Wrongful death


If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer in New York, and your prognosis is poor or you have lost the opportunity to benefit from available treatments because your cancer was not diagnosed earlier, call Porter Nordby Howe LLP at 888-477-7731, or email us at info@pnhlawyers.com.

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Breast Cancer

An annual mammogram is recommended starting at age 40, and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.


Clinical breast exam (CBE) is recommended about every three years for women in their twenties and thirties, and every year for women 40 and over. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their twenties. Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and promptly report any changes to their health care provider.


Some women – because of family history, a genetic tendency, or other factors – should be screened with MRI in addition to mammograms.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer screening (testing) should begin at age 21. Women under age 21 should not be tested.


Women between ages 21 and 29 should have a Pap test every three years. The human papillomavirus (HPV) test is also available, but is not normally used in this age group unless it is warranted after an abnormal Pap test.


Women between the ages of 30 and 65 should have a Pap test plus an HPV test (called “co-testing”) every five years. This is the preferred approach, but it is also acceptable to have a Pap test alone every three years.


Women over age 65 who have had regular cervical cancer testing with normal results should not be tested for cervical cancer. Once testing is stopped, it should not be started again. Women with a history of a serious cervical pre-cancer should continue to be tested for at least 20 years after that diagnosis, even if testing continues past age 65.


A woman who has had her uterus removed (and also her cervix) for reasons not related to cervical cancer, and who has no history of cervical cancer or serious pre-cancer, should not be tested.


A woman who has been vaccinated against HPV should still follow the screening recommendations for her age group.


Some women, because of their health history, may need to have a different screening schedule for cervical cancer.

Colorectal Cancers

Beginning at age 50, both men and women should follow one of these testing schedules:


Tests that find polyps and cancer:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years*; or
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years; or
  • Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years*; or
  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years.*


Tests that primarily find cancer:

  • Yearly fecal occult blood test (FOBT);*,** or
  • Yearly fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year;*,** or


* If the test is positive, a colonoscopy should be done.

** The multiple stool take-home test should be used. One test done by the doctor in the office is not adequate for testing. A colonoscopy should be done if the test is positive.


Talk to your doctor about which test is best for you. Some people should be screened using a different schedule because of their personal history or family history. Talk with your doctor about your history and what colorectal cancer screening schedule is best for you.

Endometrial Cancer

The American Cancer Society recommends that, at the time of menopause, all women should be told about the risks and symptoms of endometrial cancer. Women should report any unexpected bleeding or spotting to their doctors. Some women, because of their history, may need to consider a yearly endometrial biopsy. Please talk with your doctor about your history.

Lung Cancer

The American Cancer Society does not recommend tests to screen for lung cancer in people who are at average risk of this disease. However, the ACS does have screening guidelines for individuals who are at high risk of lung cancer due to cigarette smoking. If you meet all of the following criteria then you may be a candidate for screening:


  • 55 to 74 years of age;
  • In fairly good health; and
  • You have at least a 30 pack/year smoking history AND you are either still smoking or have quit smoking within the last 15 years.
Prostate Cancer

Starting at age 50, physicians should talk with their male patients about the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening so the patient can decide, with the physician’s advice, whether Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) testing is the right choice for them. If a man is African American or has a father or brother who had prostate cancer before age 65, he should talk with his doctor about starting screening at age 45. If men decide to be tested, they should have the PSA test with or without a rectal exam. How often they are tested will depend on their PSA level.

Skin Cancer/Melanoma

Individuals should be routinely screened by their primary care physician and/or dermatologist if they discover any suspicious moles and/or experience exposure to the sun. Skin cancers are one of the most prevalent forms of cancer. Routine screening for skin cancer and pre-cancerous lesions is imperative to one’s overall health.