Misdiagnosis of Larynx Cancer, What Should I Do?
The larynx is located in the throat, and is also referred to as the voice box. Cancer of the larynx is a particular form of cancer that affects this area. The vocal chords, which vibrate to make sounds when a person speaks, are located in the voice box, which itself is made of cartilage. The larynx is connected to the throat and can be located just under where the throat is found. Throat cancer, including cancer that affects the larynx occurs when the cells of the throat mutate and change at an abnormal rate. The mutations then cause the cells to change and grow at a rapid rate, and live much longer than is typical for that of healthy cells. This causes an accumulation of cells that are abnormal, thus resulting in tumors.
While it is not known for sure what exactly causes these cells to grow in this fashion and cause cancer, medical professionals have been able to determine a number of factors that increase the chances of developing larynx cancer. Behaviors such as smoking, chewing tobacco, and abusing alcohol all increase the possibility of developing cancer.
There are some main symptoms that are associated with larynx cancer. Because this type of cancer forms on or close to the vocal chords, the tone of a person’s voice, and the voice itself, may change. Hoarseness may also be reported in some patients. Other noted symptoms that are attributed to cancer of the larynx include discomfort swallowing, shortness of breath, a lump that can be felt in the throat or neck, and chronic ear aches.
That being said, there are some cases of cancer of the larynx that do not affect the vocal chords whatsoever, therefore there is no noticeable change in the tone or quality of the voice. It is also quite common that a patient who reports to the doctor with early symptoms of larynx cancer is dismissed as having a minor case of laryngitis because of a viral infection. Anytime this happens, a delay in treatment occurs, and the result could be quite devastating.
In order to make a proper diagnosis of cancer of the larynx, medical professionals need to conduct a complete physical examination along with ordering certain tests and x-rays. If there is a failure to adhere to this procedure, an act of medical negligence may have occurred. When preliminary tests and physical examinations are done, a more definitive diagnosis may be made by referring the patient to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. These specialists will physically feel the throat and neck area for any lumps or enlarged glands, and take a look at the overall health and condition of the mouth, and back of the throat. A more close up examination may be needed by using a fiber optic nasendoscope. A nasendoscope is a thin tube that has a light on one end. This helps the physician to view down the throat at a greater distance. From this point, follow up examinations may be ordered to get an idea of the shape of the larynx, which will require sedation by means of general anesthesia. Any items of concern will be collected during this procedure and biopsied for further diagnosis.
If cancer of the larynx is caught early, it can be treated, and the patient can have an improved quality of life, and may be able to be cured. If the cancer is left untreated, or there is a delay in treatment, it is possible that the cancer can spread to other areas of the body, which can lead to a case that is much more difficult to remedy.
If a proper diagnosis is not made because of an error on the part of a doctor or because of a technician who did not properly interpret lab results, a form of medical negligence may have occurred. When this happens, it is important to understand that you have legal rights, and you may be able to enforce those rights in a court of law.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a misdiagnosis of larynx cancer, you should not delay in seeking legal assistance. Contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible can help to ensure your rights are protected and give you the best chance of obtaining compensation for your injuries.
Personal injury attorneys who specialize in this area of the law are extremely skilled with these cases, and will work hard on your behalf. He or she will handle every last detail, collect medical records, evidence, and even arrange for expert testimony if needed. Personal injury attorneys will file all proceedings and provide advice on the best way for you to head with your case.
Best of all, most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means you have nothing to pay upfront. By not having to worry about how to fund your claim as it progresses through the legal system, you can spend your time focusing on your personal health and recovery, as well as spend precious time with friends and family.
In the event that you have lost a loved one because of a misdiagnosis of larynx cancer, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim on the decedent’s behalf. A personal injury attorney will discuss your options and guide you in the proper direction.
Medical negligence claims can be quite complicated and are certainly not something you will want to take on yourself. Every state has various laws that govern these types of cases, and various statutes of limitations that must be followed. Failing to file in the proper amount of time or in the right way can sabotage your chances of receiving compensation.
Do not risk becoming a victim twice. Medical professionals have teams of legal representatives working on their side to protect them in all ways, and you should have someone in your corner. Hiring a personal injury attorney will give you all the tools necessary to get the justice you so rightly deserve.