Laryngeal cancer and failure to diagnose

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

Smoking has been linked to lung cancer, but it can also cause damage to the trachea and larynx. While smoking increases the chances of laryngeal cancer, so does working in certain industries in Ohio. The larynx enables a person to breathe and swallow, and getting exposed to harmful substances could irritate the airway. The reason there are more laryngeal cancers is because the larynx has a more rigid surface than the lungs, so it increases the chances of the cancer staying localized.

Out of 55,000 head and neck cancers, one-third of the cases get diagnosed as laryngeal cancers annually. Some symptoms of laryngeal cancer include trouble swallowing, persistent coughing, voice changes such as hoarseness and, in some cases, trouble breathing. It can also feel like food is stuck in the throat.

Laryngeal cancers make up less than 1% of cases, but they do not get diagnosed as early as lung cancer. Former smokers have a tendency to seek diagnosis earlier because they notice changes in the voice sooner. However, laryngeal cancers can get misdiagnosed. Lungs can still show up as clear on X-rays in a patient with shortness of breath, which causes a delay in detection.

Laryngeal cancer can also get diagnosed as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or thyroid cancer. The failure to diagnose early causes the cancer to be in advanced stages when it gets diagnosed. Cancers diagnosed in the advanced stage often require surgery to remove the voice box.

It is very important for a doctor to diagnose cancer early so that the patient has the best chance of survival. A patient may be able to sue the doctor if they feel that the misdiagnosis or failure to identify the cancer caused it to spread. Since medical malpractice cases might be difficult to prove, a lawyer may help patients present their evidence.

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