There are many types of cancer that affect both adults and children of all ages. All types of cancer, including childhood cancer, have a common disease process. The cells grow out of control, develop inside the body, destroy other cells and can ultimately spread to other organs and tissues. Cancer wreaks havoc on a child’s health because as cancer cells grow they demand more and more of the body’s nutrition.
The child loses his or her health. The cancer destroys bones and organs and weakens the body’s defenses against other illnesses.
According to the American Cancer Society, cancer affects about 14 of every 100,000 children in the United States each year. Among all age groups, the most common childhood cancers are leukemia, lymphoma and brain cancer. As children enter their teen years there is also an increased risk and incidence of osteosarcoma or bone cancer.
Typically, the factors that trigger cancer in children are different from factors that may cause cancer in adults, such as smoking or exposure to environmental toxins. Sometimes, a child with a genetic condition such as Down’s syndrome may face an increased risk. Those children who have had chemotherapy or radiation treatment for a prior cancer episode may also have an increased risk of cancer.
In almost all cases, childhood cancers arise from non-inherited mutations or changes in the genes or growing cells. Although there may be no effective way to prevent them because they occur randomly, it is a doctor’s responsibility to diagnose and treat these diseases in a timely manner. A delay in diagnosing childhood cancer or a failure to diagnose childhood cancer can be potentially fatal. If your doctor did not make every effort to diagnose your child’s condition, then you may be a victim of medical malpractice and may be eligible to file a medical negligence lawsuit or a wrongful death claim.
In some instances, doctors may not be able to spot symptoms of childhood cancer. But in many cases, doctors are able to spot early symptoms of childhood cancer at regular checkups. Once the cancer has been diagnosed, it is normal for your doctor to refer you and your child to a medical center that specializes in pediatric oncology, which is the treatment for childhood cancer.
If your child has suffered serious health complications or if you have lost your child as a result of your doctor’s failure to diagnose or promptly treat a childhood cancer, you are a victim of pediatric malpractice.
We will fight for your legal rights and make sure you get the justice and compensation you rightfully deserve.