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Delayed diagnosis caused man's death

Cancer is always a scary diagnosis. However, with today's advances in technology and the research that has been conducted, a cancer diagnosis is often not a death sentence if caught in time. A delayed diagnosis can often wreak havoc for patients in Rhode Island and across the country. Unfortunately, the family of a deceased man claims that had their father received a cancer diagnosis earlier, the illness may have been cured.

The man reportedly passed away in late Dec. 2014. According to reports, he was initially diagnosed with kidney cancer in July 2011. The diagnosis came after blood was found in the man's urine -- a condition called hematuria -- the month before. Following the discovery, additional testing was ordered which revealed that a significant tumor that had already spread.

Unfortunately, the man's medical records revealed that it was not the first time blood was discovered in his urine. The first time was almost two years earlier, but a test months later revealed no blood. Despite the negative test that came later, a specialist testifying on behalf of the plaintiffs argued that additional testing should have occurred because certain types of cancers can cause intermittent bleeding. Had the tumor been caught earlier, the lawsuit argued, the chances of successfully treating it would have been higher. Though specialists also testified that the doctor -- and defendant -- met the appropriate standard of care, the jury found for the man's children, who filed the lawsuit, awarding them $4.2 million.

Patients and their families often put a great deal of faith into the professionals who provide their medical care. Unfortunately, as a result of this faith, they may be susceptible to the negative effects of a delayed diagnosis. Because they trust their primary care providers, they may not see the necessity of seeking a second opinion. Unfortunately, patients can face significant harm as a result of such negligence. Though doing so likely does little to reduce the grief felt by family members who suffered the loss of a family member, many in Rhode Island choose to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the parties deemed responsible.

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