Cancers of the larynx or trachea have both been related to smoking, but they are very different in terms of how common they are. They can also develop rapidly and a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose can cause severe damages for those in Indiana who have tracheal or laryngeal cancer. According to one doctor, approximately 33% of the annually diagnosed 55,000 head and neck cancers in the U.S. are larynx cancers.
Smoking is the top risk factor for cancers of the larynx, but people may also be exposed to chemicals at work that increase risk. Those in the coal mining industry are increased risk, for example. Most laryngeal cancers, like lung cancers, are not diagnosed until they reach an advanced stage. Failure to diagnose the disease early can lead to patient harm as the cancer grows or spreads to other areas.
Tracheal cancers are much rarer than laryngeal cancers, representing less than .5% of all malignant cancers. This means they are less likely to be accurately diagnosed early on. These types of cancer are most often treated with surgery, but radiation or chemotherapy may be used to treat if the cancer cannot be removed with surgery or is too advanced. An early sign of tracheal cancer is obstructed breathing or shortness of breath.
In cases where failure to diagnose by a medical professional causes harm to the patient, an attorney might be able to help. An attorney who practices medical malpractice law may review the facts of the situation and gather information and evidence to build a case. He or she might interview witnesses who have information or depose experts about the likely causes of the cancer and its advancement. Injured parties may have monetary claims for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses or other damages.