Philadelphia Pancreatic Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney

Doctor with a pancreas model on desk

Pancreatic cancer is a particularly frightening type of malignancy because it often doesn’t give evidence of its presence until it is too late for the disease to be successfully treated. A serious threat for anyone diagnosed with the condition, pancreatic cancer can be even more harrowing for those who have had the misfortune to receive a misdiagnosis. 


If the negligence of a doctor of another healthcare provider in Philadelphia has resulted in a misdiagnosis of your pancreatic cancer that has delayed treatment and worsened your prognosis, it is time to seek strong legal representation as well as excellent medical care. It is time to contact the sharp medical malpractice attorneys at Cooper Schall & Levy.


Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer Mimic Several Other Ailments

Common symptoms of pancreatic cancer tend to be vague and therefore easily misinterpreted as signs of other medical conditions, frequently ones that are much less alarming. These symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain that radiates to the back
  • Burning sensation in the belly
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes due to blockage of the bile duct)
  • Itchy skin (sometimes caused by jaundice)
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Changes in the color of stool and urine 
  • Sudden onset of type 2 diabetes
  • Enlarged gallbladder


Methods Used to Diagnose Pancreatic Cancer

Sometimes the misdiagnosis of pancreatic cancer is rooted in a failure to administer proper diagnostic tests. This typically occurs because the doctor doesn’t suspect the true cause of the patient’s symptoms and therefore fails to order the appropriate scans. That failure frequently stems from negligence and too often may have dire consequences.


When only blood tests are taken, pancreatic cancer is not usually detected since markers for the disease only show up in the blood when the malignancy has advanced well beyond the stage of early detection.


Diagnostic Imaging Tests for Pancreatic Cancer include:

  • MRI, CT, and PET scans
  • Endoscopic ultrasound 
  • Transabdominal ultrasound
  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)


The most accurate diagnostic method for pancreatic cancer is a biopsy during which a small sample of pancreatic tissue is removed and examined under a microscope. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the most definitive type of biopsy is the EUS-FNA or endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy. 


Conditions Pancreatic Cancer Can Be Mistaken For

Doctors have to be alert to the symptoms of pancreatic cancer even if they are not surgical oncologists because many of the early symptoms of the disease can be mistakenly diagnosed as benign conditions, such as acid reflux or dry skin. Because of its non-specific symptoms, pancreatic cancer can also be misdiagnosed as a range of other conditions including:

  • Hepatitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Gallstones or gallbladder disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)


Consequences of Misdiagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer

When pancreatic cancer is mistaken for another condition, treatment for the actual disease can be delayed, reducing the chances of favorable outcomes and negatively impacting the survival rate. Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can also result in unnecessary treatments and surgeries and great emotional distress. Moreover, costs associated with incorrect treatments and hospitalizations can be financially devastating.


Legal Aspects of Misdiagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer

It should be remembered that to be found guilty of medical malpractice you doctor must have failed to take the steps that a reasonable healthcare professional would have taken if presented with the same medical data. In other words, your doctor must have deviated from accepted norms of medical practice resulting in your injury.


For a legal claim based on the misdiagnosis of pancreatic cancer to be successful, one of our skilled lawyers must demonstrate that:

  1. The physician owed you a duty of care as a patient.
  2. The physician breached that duty by failing to diagnose your pancreatic cancer.
  3. This breach directly resulted in your injuries.
  4. You suffered physical, emotional, and financial damages due to injuries.


Why Cooper Schall & Levy Is the Wise Choice in Philadelphia

The physical and emotional pain associated with a misdiagnosis of pancreatic cancer cannot be overstated. When facing such a profound medical and personal ordeal, it’s crucial to have a steadfast legal ally at your side. Cooper Schall & Levy have your back. You can rely on our:

  • Track record of successful outcomes
  • Well-honed negotiation and litigation skills
  • Thorough examination of medical reports
  • Careful interviews with witnesses
  • Consultations with experts who will testify on your behalf


Damages We Will Fight to Recover

After all you’ve been through, we will do everything possible to bring you the compensation you deserve for both economic and non-economic losses.


Economic damages are designed to reimburse you for costs related to your injuries, such as:

  • Medical and rehabilitative expenses
  • Lost income (present and future)
  • Long-term nursing care
  • Alterations to make your home accessible
  • Replacement services (for chores you can no longer do) 

Non-economic damages are designed to cover intangible losses, such as:

  • Physical pain 
  • Emotional suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Permanent disability
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Wrongful death


If you have lost a loved one due to a negligent doctor’s misdiagnosis of pancreatic cancer, we know that we can do nothing to relieve your grief. We will, however, work tirelessly to bring you some modicum of justice in the form of damages to pay final medical costs, funeral and burial/cremation expenses, and funds to replace loss of financial support to secure your future.


Contact Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today

You are no doubt feeling alone and overwhelmed. Let us take over the legal and logistical pressures that plague you. We will make your needs our top priority.  Contact us now to feel the solace that comes from having the support of capable, caring attorneys.