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Medical malpractice: How is a brain tumor diagnosed?

Our bodies speak to us, so it can be frightening when we suddenly feel extremely ill. In some instances, a severe headache or nausea is merely part of having some sort of virus, like the flu. In other cases, though, the diagnosis can be much more serious. The only way to know for sure is to go to the doctor, have him or her conduct an examination and assessment, and rely on their diagnosis. When a medical professional makes an accurate diagnosis, effective treatment is often available. Yet, when a doctor in Massachusetts fails to diagnose a medical condition or makes the wrong diagnosis, then the treatment may be ineffective or harmful, leaving victims with a worsened medical condition.

A diagnosis error can occur when a patient has a brain tumor, for example. There are many ways that a brain tumor can be diagnosed, but they all rely on a medical professional to order and properly interpret appropriate testing. One way to diagnose a brain tumor is through a neurological exam. Here, a doctor may check a patient's vision, balance, hearing, coordination, as well as his or her reflexes and strength. If any of these areas are facing issues, then there may be a problem with the victim's brain.

Doctors can also utilize imaging tests to locate the presence of brain tumors. MRI, CT, and PET scans may all locate a brain tumor, allowing a doctor to more effectively treat it. Medical professionals may also perform a biopsy, wherein tissue is removed and examined to determine if it is cancerous. This operation can help doctors determine how best to treat a tumor.

Medical professionals carry a heavy burden, yet they are expected to provide patients with a certain level of care. When that level of care is not provided and a patient suffers harm as a result, then a victim may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Success on one of these claims may bring a victim much needed compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering damages.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Brain Tumor," accessed on Dec. 3, 2016

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