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Everyone is potentially at risk of developing cancer at some point in their lifetime. Many of the leading cancers can be detected early through the use of screening techniques and through appropriate testing following symtoms or warning signs. With early detection, the patient's chances of survival are significantly higher than when the cancer is not detected until the more advanced stages. Yet, an alarming number of men and women die from cancer each year, sometimes because the diagnosis was delayed until the cancer had advanced to a non-curable stage.

Facts & Figures
  • Cancer is a leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • Approximately 48,100 men and women in the U.S. will die from colon cancer this year.
  • Approximately 40,200 women in the U.S. will die from breast cancer this year.
  • Approximately 5,000 women in the U.S. will die from cervical cancer this year.
  • Approximately 31,500 men in the U.S. will die from prostate cancer this year.
  • If cancer is detected and treated early, the survival rate is high.
Screening and Early Detection

There are screening tests available for each of the above cancers. By screening individuals who do not have any symptoms, it is often possible to identify the pressence of cancer while the cancer is still in the early stages. By identifying the cancer at an early stage, the cancer can often be treated with less intrusive procedures, and the individual has a much better chance of surviving. The failure to properly screen for cancer can lead to a delay in diagnosis, resulting in the need for additional treatment and decreasing the person's chances of survival. This may constitute medical malpractice on the part of the doctor.

When a cancer is not detected early, there may be symptoms that should raise a physician's suspicion of cancer. If a doctor fails to order appropriate testing to determine whether cancer is present, the cancer will continue to grow resulting in the continuing diminishion of the person's chances of surviving. Beyond a certain point, the cancer will become uncurable. The failure on the part of a doctor to order appropriate testing when a patient reports symptoms that may be cancer related may constitute medical malpractice.


Many cancers can be successfully treated by a surgical procedure if diagnosed early. If the diagnosis is not made until the cancer is more advanced, or if the cancer is highly aggressive, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy may be used as adjuvant therapies. The likelihood of success from treatment is generally described by a statistic known as the 5 year survival rate. These statistics are generally based on the stage of the cancer when it is first diagnosed and treated. Generally, the earlier the cancer is detected, the lower the stage and the higher the likelihood of being able to successfully treat the patient.

Delayed Diagnosis

If you or someone you love have been diagnosed with advanced (Stage III or Stage IV) cancer and you believe that a doctor or other health care provider delayed the diagnosis of the cancer, you should immediately contact a competent attorney.

Our law firm, together with the network of other law firms that we work with, helps victims of medical malpractice nationally.

Law Office of Joseph A. Hernandez
675 VFW Parkway #312
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
Phone: (781) 461-9400
Toll free: (866) 461-9400
Licensed to practice law by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Helping victims of medical malpractice nationally.

Thank you for visiting the Law Office of Joseph A. Hernandez. The material located on our law firm's web site is intended to be a resource for present and prospective clients for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal (or medical) advice. This web site is not an offer to represent you. The act of sending electronic mail to our firm or to Attorney Hernandez does not create an attorney-client relationship and does not obligate the Law Office of Joseph A. Hernandez or Mr. Hernandez to respond to your email or to represent you. No attorney-client relationship will be formed unless you enter into a signed agreement of representation with the Law Office of Joseph A. Hernandez. You should not act, or refrain from acting, based upon any information at this web site without seeking professional legal counsel. Under the rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and other rules, this material may be considered advertising. Licensed to practice law in the State of Massachusetts. This website does not represent other licenses, or certifications of specialization or expertise that may be available in certain states.