Cook County residents may be interested in lung cancer study

When it comes to deadly diseases such as cancer, it is important for patients in Chicago to take action as quickly as possible, to prevent the spread of the disease and increase the patient’s chances for survival. The failure to do so could prove fatal. However, as one study revealed, lung cancer patients in the United States may not be receiving the optimal treatment.

According to researchers, lung cancer patients may experience a delay in treatment or vital steps in treatment may be missed, leading to the spread of the disease and reducing the chances that the patient will survive the illness. The research studied over 600 patients at two medical facilities. 92 percent of these patients had lung cancer, five percent had a tumor elsewhere and the remaining patients had lesions that were benign.

When it came to lung cancer, researchers determined that there were five steps that should be taken to address the disease. These steps included detecting the lesion, performing a biopsy, receiving radiation, invasive staging and finally treating the disease. The researchers found that 27 percent of the patients studied did not receive the proper preoperative diagnostic procedures. Moreover, over 20 percent of patients studied did not receive the proper imaging procedures in order to determine what stage the cancer was at. In addition, nearly 90 percent of patients studied did not receive an invasive staging test prior to an operation. It is important to note, however, that the study did not determine whether physician error was the reason why the gaps in treatment took place.

These statistics are incredibly troubling. After all, if the right steps are not taken to treat a cancer patient, it could lead to the patient’s death. If a physician negligently misses a crucial step in treatment, it could prove fatal to the patient. When such medical negligence results in the death of the patient, the family of the patient may want to consider whether pursuing a wrongful death suit is an option for them.

Source: Healio, “Treatment delays, missed diagnostic testing common among patients with lung cancer,” Farhood Farjah, MD, MPH, Aug. 12, 2015