Last Updated on May 17, 2024

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

Patients may be eligible to sue medical staff if their kidney cancer is diagnosed late. Kidney cancer is often detected in its early stages when it is still confined to the kidney. In some cases however, the disease only presents itself in more advanced stages. Late kidney cancer diagnosis can be attributed to the following:

  • Some kidney cancers (depending on tumor location) can grow without causing pain or discomfort;
  • The kidneys are hard to examine during routine physical checkups;
  • There are no recommended screening tests for average-risk patients.

In some unfortunate cases, delayed diagnosis stems from medical negligence. Any professional/facility found to have caused a delayed diagnosis through negligence can be held legally liable. Medical malpractice lawyers exist to legally support victims of negligence.

Kidney cancer has an average 5-year relative survival rate of 78.1%. Later, you’ll get to see how survival rates drop when kidney cancers are diagnosed late. The National Cancer Institute expects around 81,610 new cases of kidney cancer (including renal cancers) throughout 2024. 

Is Delayed Kidney Cancer Diagnosis Malpractice?

Medical malpractices lead to delayed cancer diagnosis. Various systemic and individual factors contribute to a patient’s cancer being diagnosed late. While some types of cancers are notably more difficult to catch, healthcare providers must provide their patients with sufficient medical attention – ensuring that their health is always safeguarded. Doctors found to have performed poorly/negligently can be held liable for your kidney cancer’s delayed diagnosis.

In a recent study, 2155 cases of cancer diagnosis claims were analyzed. They found these to be the common malpractices committed by primary care providers:

  • Misdiagnosis of initial symptoms (46% of the cases studied)
  • Failure to order necessary diagnostic tests (51%)
  • Failure to provide timely referrals (37%)

The study finds that these errors typically lead to severe patient harm. Delayed diagnosis allows cancer to develop, making the disease harder to combat. Through a medical malpractice claim, harmed patients can be legally compensated – ensuring that they can financially cover all the treatments they would be needing.

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Kidney Cancer Survival Rates

Survival rates also plummet when cancers are diagnosed in their later stages. As provided by the National Cancer Institute, the survival rates for kidney cancer are as follows:

STAGE5-Year Relative Survival Rate
Localized (Stage 1 or 2)93.3%
Regional (Stage 3)75.1%
Distant (Stage 4)18.2%

Early detection is a crucial factor when battling against kidney cancer. Immediate medical intervention hinders the disease's progress.

What Can Kidney Cancer Be Misdiagnosed As?

Earlier symptoms of kidney cancer can be vague. Unsuspecting medical providers might be led to believe that their patients are instead affected by less severe medical conditions. Some of these less severe conditions include (but are not limited to):

Given how symptoms overlap, healthcare providers must prescribe timely screening tests (bloodtests, imaging tests, urinalysis, biopsies, etc.) to their patients. This is especially important for higher-risk patients.

What Happens after Being Diagnosed with Kidney Cancer?

Getting treated should be the first priority of any patient diagnosed with cancer. For kidney cancers detected in later stages, simultaneous complementary treatments. If you find medical bills too expensive, various government initiatives and NGO-support are available to alleviate some financial stress.

Treatments for kidney cancer include:

According to the National Cancer Institute, patients across the US spent $9.7 billion on kidney cancer treatments in 2020. Individually speaking, spending can be segmented into 3 phasesinitial care, continuing care, and end-of-life care. The average individual spending for kidney cancer as of 2020 are as follows:

Medical ServicesPrescription Drugs
Initial Care(1st year after diagnosis)$41,122$2,290
Continuing Care(time in between)$8,537
per year
$1,874 per year
End-of-Life Care(last year before passing away)$95,985$11,764

All medical expenses (past and future) are accounted for when seeking legal compensation. Apart from them, other economic and non-economic losses are also factored in. Lost wages, emotional suffering, and reduced quality of life are only some of the more common inclusions.

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Legal Implications and Compensation

Several key elements must be established before a medical malpractice claim is rendered valid. Your legal counsel, along with professional medical consultants, would help you establish these. During your initial investigation, your team would try to establish the following: 

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 doctors actions/inactions directly cause you harm?
Damages – What did these mistakes cost you in turn?

You’d also need your legal counsel to procure all documents relevant to your case. Only pieces of evidence procured this way are usable in court. After the initial investigation, your legal team is also responsible for accounting damages and negotiating settlements. Working with seasoned medical malpractice lawyers is crucial for your claim’s success.

In 2023, the National Practitioner Data Bank recorded a total of 10,172 medical malpractice payments across the US. Latest figures suggest that these medical malpractice cases were compensated with $408,340 on average. Do note, however, that this includes even minor incidents of medical malpractice. Please refer to our recent wins for more insight.

Speak with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today

At the Porter Law Group, we take pride in helping families rebuild from unfavorable circumstances. We do our best so that you can better recuperate from cancer. If you have any questions regarding kidney cancer misdiagnosis, please reach out for a no-obligation, free consultation.

You may also contact us at 833-PORTER9 or to schedule an appointment. If you are looking to pursue further legal action, we operate on a contingency basis – meaning you don’t have to pay anything unless we win.

Written By
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.
Legally Reviewed on April 24, 2024
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.
This Article Was Professionally Reviewed
This page was Legally Reviewed by Michael S. Porter on April 24, 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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