Last Updated on May 6, 2024

Can I Sue If I've Been Diagnosed with Endometrial Cancer Late?

Patients may be eligible to sue medical staff if their endometrial cancer is diagnosed late. Endometrial cancer is a type of cancer that originates from the inner uterine lining (endometrium). It is the most common cancer in female reproductive organs with about 67,880 new expected cases by 2024. Over the last decade, the incidence rate of this disease has gradually increased.

Various patient-related and systemic factors can lead to delayed diagnoses. Negligent doctors who contribute to a patient’s delayed cancer diagnosis may be held liable. Medical facilities that commit organizational lapses may also be pursued legally.

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Endometrial Cancer Misdiagnosis

In a recent study, it was found that many cases of missed cancer diagnoses are rooted in errors made by primary physicians. These common errors include:

[1] Inaccurate diagnosis of symptoms and test results;

[2] Failure to order necessary test procedures; and

[3] Failure to refer patients to respective specialists.

Such negligences have been attributed to severe patient harm – constituting medical malpractice. If you have experienced these errors from your doctor, medical malpractice lawyers can help you establish your case (and get you the compensation you rightfully deserve).

Whereas symptoms of most other cancers are often vague, some symptoms of endometrial cancer may actually point to the disease. Some of its symptoms may also cause alarm in patients, prompting them to seek medical attention right away. These symptoms include:

  • Unusual vaginal bleeding/spotting (volume and frequency)
  • Presence of abnormal discharge
  • Pelvic pain
  • Presence of an unknown mass
  • Weight loss

Healthcare providers must respond accordingly to these symptoms. They must devise a course of action that ensures the safety of their patients. As an example, a recently documented incident of mishandled gynecological cancer follows.

Beauty YouTuber Jessica Pettway, Dies of Cervical Cancer After Misdiagnosis

What Can Be Mistaken for Endometrial Cancer?

Unsuspecting and negligent doctors can dismiss a patient’s endometrial cancer for something less severe. Due to the similarity in symptoms, endometrial cancer may be mistaken as:

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)Causes hormonal imbalances that can lead to irregular, heavy, or prolonged menstrual bleeding.
Endometrial HyperplasiaCharacterized by the excessive growth of the endometrium, which can cause irregular/heavy menstrual bleeding and weird vaginal discharge.
Uterine FibroidsBenign growths in the uterus can cause symptoms such as heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain or pressure, and a feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen.
Endometrial PolypsBenign growths that develop within the endometrium and can cause irregular bleeding, spotting between periods, and abnormal vaginal discharge.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)This infection of the reproductive organs can cause pelvic pain, abnormal vaginal discharge, and occasionally, irregular bleeding.
Cervical PolypsThese benign growths on the cervix can cause spotting between periods, bleeding after intercourse, and abnormal vaginal discharge.
Atrophic VaginitisThis inflammation of the vagina, often due to low estrogen levels during menopause, can cause vaginal bleeding, discharge, and pelvic discomfort.

Various screening tests for endometrial cancer are available for women who exhibit symptoms of the disease. Doctors must promptly request these screening tests so that the cancer may be detected early.

What is the 5-Year Survival Rate for Endometrial Cancer?

Considering all its stages, endometrial cancer has a 5-year relative survival rate of 81%. Naturally, cases that are diagnosed at later stages of the disease have a lower survivability. Here are the per-stage survival rates for endometrial cancer as provided by the American Cancer Society:

STAGE5-Year Relative Survival Rate
Localized (Stage 1 or 2)95%
Regional (Stage 3)70%
Distant (Stage 4)18%

The apparent disparity in survival rates further emphasizes the importance of early detection. While endometrial cancer is highly treatable in its early stages, the disease can easily develop and metastasize if it remains unchecked. Cancers in more advanced stages are notably harder to cure – requiring more aggressive complementary treatments in most cases.

Treatment Options and Medical Expenses

Treatment options for endometrial cancer generally depend on the stage wherein the disease was caught. Other factors – such as a patient's overall health, their age, or even if they plan to have children – may also be considered. Conventional treatments for endometrial cancer include:

With the need for holistic medical attention, expenses for services and prescriptions can quickly pile up. The National Cancer Institute devised three distinct phases when estimating expenses for cancer treatmentsinitial care, continuing care, and end-of-life care. As of 2020, they estimate that cancer patients in the US will spend upwards of $200 billion yearly.

Given limited spending data on endometrial cancers, here are the average annual per-patient expenses for cancer treatments in the US:

Medical ServicesPrescription Drugs
Initial Care(1st year after diagnosis)$43,516$1,874
Continuing Care(time in between)$5,518
per year
$1,041per year
End-of-Life Care(last year before passing away)$109,727$4,372

All medical expenses (past and future) are accounted for when filing a medical malpractice claim. Apart from medical bills, other economic and non-economic losses are also factored in – lost income, emotional trauma, and decreased quality of life are some of the more common inclusions. Please refer to our previous wins for actual cancer misdiagnosis compensation figures.

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Establishing a Medical Malpractice Claim

Before filing your medical malpractice claim, an initial investigation will be conducted by your legal team. During said investigation, your legal counsel would try to pinpoint four key elements that would establish your claim. Medical consultants are tapped at this point. 

These four key elements are:

Duty of Care – Was there an appropriate doctor-patient relationship?
Breach of Duty – Did your doctor perform poorly/negligently based on accepted standards of care?
Causation – Did your doctor’s actions/inactions directly cause you harm?
Damages – What did these errors cost you?

Apart from establishing your claim, the responsibilities of your cancer malpractice lawyer include gathering pieces of evidence; officially filing your case; and negotiating for your compensation.

Speak to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today

At the Porter Law Group, our team of proven medical malpractice lawyers delivers ideal results.  We take pride in helping families rebuild after unfavorable circumstances.  We operate on a contingency basis – meaning you do not need to pay us anything unless we win your case. Through this approach, we can better support families during their times of need.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, please reach out to us for a non-obligatory free case evaluation. You can also contact us at 833-PORTER9 or to schedule a consultation.

Written By
Michael S. Porter
Personal Injury Attorney
Originally from Upstate New York, Mike built a distinguished legal career after graduating from Harvard University and earning his juris doctor degree from Syracuse University College of Law. He served as a Captain in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, gaining expertise in trial work, and is now a respected trial attorney known for securing multiple million-dollar results for his clients while actively participating in legal organizations across Upstate NY.
Legally Reviewed on May 6, 2024
Eric C. Nordby
Personal Injury Attorney
Eric, with nearly three decades of experience in personal injury litigation, holds a law degree with honors from the University at Buffalo School of Law and a Bachelor's Degree from Cornell University. His extensive career encompasses diverse state and federal cases, resulting in substantial client recoveries, and he actively engages in legal associations while frequently lecturing on legal topics.
This Article Was Professionally Reviewed
This page was Legally Reviewed by Eric C. Nordby on May 6, 2024. Our experts verify everything you read to make sure it's up to date. For information on our content creation and review process read our editorial guidelines. If you notice an error or have any questions about our content please contact us.
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