When people are diagnosed with cancer, they rely on hospitals and oncologists to provide appropriate care and treatment. If an oncologist advises a person that the person’s cancer is in remission, the person will generally take this to mean that they no longer have cancer. Recently, a New York appellate court addressed the issue of whether a hospital can be held liable for advising a patient that he is cancer free following treatment for prostate cancer, when the patient is suffering from colon cancer that has not yet been diagnosed. If you suffered harm due to an oncologist’s failure to appropriately diagnose or treat your cancer, you should speak with a knowledgeable Rochester oncology malpractice attorney regarding your injuries and your potential claims.
Allegedly, in October 2004, the plaintiff’s decedent was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the first defendant hospital. An MRI and bone scan showed that the cancer was not metastatic. He sought a second opinion, and ultimately began treating with the defendant oncologist at the second defendant hospital. In July 2005, the defendant oncologist advised the plaintiff’s decedent that he was biochemically and clinically free of any evidence of the disease. In November 2005, however, the plaintiff’s decedent visited his urologist with complaints of rectal bleeding. He tested positive for blood in his stool and was referred to a gastroenterologist. The plaintiff’s decedent was ultimately diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer. He underwent treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, but lost his battle with cancer in June 2007.
It is reported that before his death, the plaintiff’s decedent filed an oncology malpractice lawsuit against the defendant hospitals and defendant oncologist, which was converted to a wrongful death case following the plaintiff’s decedent’s death. The defendant hospitals filed motions for summary judgment, asking the court to dismiss the claims against them. The court granted the motions, and the plaintiff appealed.