© The Medical-Legal News 2007
By Pam Hollsten, RN, BSN, LNCC
Cancer remains a significant disease, with over 1,000,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. Cancer is the second most common cause of death, preceded only by cardiac disease. While many medical advances have been made for the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of various cancers resulting in a significant increase in survival rates and improvement in quality of life, cancer can still kill and is the No. 1 feared medical diagnosis in the country, perhaps the world.
Litigation involving cancer cases is as varied as the different types of cancer that are diagnosed and may include products liability and toxic torts. Medical malpractice can occur anywhere along the continuum of care: failure to appropriately screen for early stage cancers, delays in the diagnosis and multiple complications arising as the result of treatment. The treatment involved in cancer care includes aggressive medical, surgical and radiological oncology practices that carry the risk of significant morbidity as a byproduct of the standard treatment for the best disease-free survival rates, and freedom from recurrence or progression.
The following references and resources are provided to guide the reader when evaluating or investigating a potential new case involving cancer or cancer-related morbidity. It is not intended to be all-inclusive, nor replace the review of the case by appropriate experts.
• American Cancer Society: www.cancer.org
• American College of Radiology:www.acr.org
• American Society of Clinical Oncology:www.asco.org
• American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology: www.astro.org
• Association of Cancer Online Resources:www.acor.org
• CancerCare: www.cancercare.org
• Cancer Guide: www.cancerguide.org
• Cancer Index: www.cancerindex.org
• Cancer Research:http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org
• Clinical Trials (PDQ®) – National Cancer Institute: www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq
• eMedicine World Medical Library:www.emedicine.com
• National Coalition for Cancer Research:www.cancercoalition.org
• National Cancer Institute: www.cancer.gov
• National Guidelines Clearinghouse:www.guideline.gov
• National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP): www.nsabp.pitt.edu
• OncoLink: www.cancer.med.upenn.edu
• Oncology Nursing Society: www.ons.org
• FDA Oncology Tools:www.fda.gov/cder/cancer
• Access Device Guidelines: Recommendations for Nursing Practice and Education, Camp-Sorrel, D., Oncology Nursing Society, 2nd edition, 2004.
• AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, Greene, Frederick L., et al., editors. Lippincott-Raven, 6th edition, 2006.
• Bethesda Handbook of Clinical Oncology, Abraham, Jame, et al., Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2005.
• Cancer Chemotherapy and Biotherapy: Principles and Practice, Chabner, B.A., et al, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2005.
• Cancer of the Breast, Spratt, J.S., Donegan, W.L., W.B. Saunders, 2002.
• Cancer Principles and Practice of Oncology, Devita, Jr., Vincent, et al., Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 7th edition, 2005.
• Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Guidelines and Recommendations for Practice, Polovich, M., et al., editors. Oncology Nursing Society, 2nd edition, 2005.
• Clinical Gynecologic Oncology, Disaia, Philip, et al., Elsevier, 2002.
• Clinical Oncology, Abeloff, Martin D. et al., Churchill Livingstone, 3rd edition, 2004.
• Current Practice Guidelines in Primary Care 2007, Gonzales, Ralph, et al., McGraw-Hill Professional, 7th edition, 2006.
• Diagnosis and Treatment of Lung Cancer: An Evidence-Based Guide for the Practicing Clinician, Detterbeck, Frank, W.B. Saunders, 2001.
• Management of Prostate Cancer: Advances and Controversies, Cummings, Kenneth B., Taylor & Francis, 2005.
• Manual of Clinical Oncology, Casciato, Dennis A., Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 5th edition, 2004.
• Principles and Practice of Pediatric Oncology, Pizzo, Philip A., et al., Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 4th edition, 2002.
• Principles and Practice of Radiation Therapy, Charles, M., et al., Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2nd edition, 2004.
• Surgeon’s Guide to Staging, Grading & Classifications, David, L.R., et al., W.B. Saunders, 2001.
Pam Hollsten, RN, BSN, LNCC is a legal nurse consultant with over ten years experience in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases.