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Medical Malpractice/Missed cancer diagnosis


Hello and thank you for taking time to read my question.
My husband was diagnosed with distal esophageal cancer 8 months ago. His gastroenterologist referred him to an oncologist.  The oncologist prescribed chemo/radiation therapy for 2 months and this was followed by an esophagectomy.  My husband was considered cured after the esophagectomy.
During his first visit with the oncologist, my husband expressed his concern about a lump on the side of his neck that had recently appeared. My husband told the oncologist that his primary doctor had ordered an ultrasound that showed this lump to be in the submandibular salivary gland.  The oncologist told my husband that we needed to put the lump issue "on the back-burner" until after the esophageal cancer was addressed.  
The oncologist ordered a PET scan which confirmed the esophageal cancer.  The area of the submandibular salivary gland also "lit up" on the PET scan but the oncologist said he didn't think it was of any concern.  We trusted this man because his specialty is oncology.
When my husband healed from the esophagectomy, I made an appointment with an ENT doctor to look at the neck lump because it had been giving my husband a lot of pain for weeks.  The ENT doctor said, "They thought this wasn't important?!"  
The ENT biopsied the mass and lymph nodes when he removed the salivary gland 4 weeks ago.  The biopsies showed malignancy and the cancer cells were the same type as was in the esophagus.
MRI, CT, and PET scans have shown this cancer to be inoperable.  It has spread to many lymph nodes and to the brain.  The oncologist said that it is too late now for radiation or chemo.
I know that early detection of salivary gland cancer has a high cure rate.  I know that my husband would not be dying from cancer now had we not put the salivary gland mass on the back-burner.
I want to sue the oncologist for this deadly mistake. Do we have a case? Thank you for your help.


I am sorry to hear about your husband's condition.  

Based on the facts you stated and if you can get an expert opinion that the submandibular salivary gland has a high success rate with early detection, it sounds as if you have a viable malpractice case.  You should consult with a medical malpractice attorney in Georgia as soon as possible.

I wish both of you the best of luck.

Very truly yours,

Paul D. Friedman, M.A., Ph.D., J.D.

Medical Malpractice

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Paul D. Friedman, M.A., Ph.D., J.D.


I have been a practicing civil trial attorney since 1989 dealing primarily with malpractice issues. I litigate very select medical malpractice cases on behalf of patients or their families. I am a Certified Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. I am also Certified in Injury and Wrongful Death by the Arizona State Bar Board of Legal Specialization.

In addition to my law degree, I received a Master of Arts in Bioethics and a Doctorate of Philosophy involving Medical Ethics. Because I am also an Adjunct Professor in Research and Medical Ethics at a medical school, I routinely consult with physicians and hospitals regarding medical ethics issues in an effort to improve patient care.

I can answer questions dealing with medical ethics principles. I can also respond to questions regarding potential malpractice issues.

For more information, you can view my website at WWW.EXPERTETHICS.COM


I have been a practicing trial attorney since 1989 and I have a masters degree in bioethics and a doctorate of philosophy regarding comparative ethics.

State Bar of Arizona
State Bar of Colorado (inactive)
District of Columbia Bar (inactive)
Federal Bar
Licensed in Arizona District Court
Licensed in Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
licensed in the United States Supreme Court
American Bar Association
National Board of Trial Advocacy
American Association for Justice
Arizona Trial Lawyers Association
American Society for Bioethics and Humanities
Kennedy Institute of Ethics
National Association of Realtors

A list of my copyrighted publications and presentations is contained at WWW.EXPERTETHICS.COM

Bachelor of Arts 1985
Juris Doctorate 1989
Master of Arts in Bioethics 2004
Doctorate of Philosophy 2006

Awards and Honors
Phi Beta Kappa
Multiple Who's Who
Southwest Superlawyers
Top 100 Trial Lawyers
AZ Magazine Top Lawyers

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