The liver, being a very important organ in the body, located beneath your diaphragm and above your stomach, is essential in the detoxification of the body. For this reason, any abnormality, like liver cancer, will have a huge effect on the human body. The effect of such a condition can be very fatal; hence, it should not be handled with levity.
What is Liver Cancer?
Liver cancer, also known as hepatic cancer, is a life-threatening illness and one of the fastest-growing cancers in the States. However, as high as the victim rate is, it’s way more in other countries.
Liver cancer occurs when a tumor grows in the liver. However, there are two types; primary and secondary liver cancer.
Primary liver cancer is a malignant tumor that starts in the liver. Secondary liver cancer, on the other hand, is cancer that starts from another part of the body but spreads to the liver. Secondary cancer is usually named after the original site it began.
This illness has known causes such as high consumption of alcohol, smoking, obesity, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, inflammation in the bile duct, and hepatitis B or C.
Like any cancer, liver cancer does not have a cure. Once it’s critical, it can only be controlled. But, surgery or a liver transplant are options if the tumor is small and contained within the liver.
Symptoms and Complications
Liver cancer symptoms and signs are intense and draining for the victim and the people around them. The symptoms include discomfort in the upper abdomen on the right side, swelling of the abdomen, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice), frequent fatigue, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weight loss, nausea, and vomiting.
The terrifying part is symptoms of liver cancer do not show in the early stages. They instead start to appear as cancer gets larger, which makes it more dangerous for the victim. You should go for checkups with your healthcare provider if there’s a risk of this illness.
An easy complication of the illness is if the healthcare providers do not detect it due to negligence until it gets to a difficult stage where death is inevitable.
In a case such as this, where a woman died at the age of 51 due to liver cancer, the hospital system and the doctor were sued by the husband of the deceased due to failure to diagnose and treat the disease. In-depth, he said that the doctor failed to diagnose the lesions on his wife’s liver properly and that if it had been caught earlier, surgery could have been performed.
Apparently, in 2007, the deceased took a CT scan and found a lesion of 1.9 centimeters and began treatment with the doctor. However, the doctor refused to take a liver biopsy, insisting on “watchful waiting”. In 2011, she took a scan that revealed an 11-centimeter malignant tumor. She died a year after. Her husband won the case with a $5.7 million settlement.
Another case of a medical malpractice lawsuit is the case of Scarvetta v. Agresti, whereby the wife of the victim was her husband’s internist and colorectal surgeon. She claimed that they negligently failed to treat his hepatitis C, which led to liver cancer.
The victim was referred to the doctor, and a CT scan showed an enlarged spleen and a lesion of 1.9 centimeters on the liver. They performed surgery but did not investigate the lesion. Some months later, blood was seen in the victim’s urine. He was diagnosed with stage IV hepatocellular carcinoma. He underwent chemotherapy but died three years later. His wife was settled before trial with a sum of $1.4 million.
Such cases would never have been if all the appropriate procedures were taken to ensure all was truly well with the patient.
How legal animation is used in liver cancer court cases
With the high mortality rate based on liver cancer, negligence should not be the word of the day in medical problems concerning the liver. Cancer on its own is a tumultuous experience for the victim and the family. Hence, the knowledge that it could have been prevented or even controlled, yet, it wasn’t because of carelessness, is extremely heartbreaking.
Such medical malpractice cases should be taken up and won, and a very good way to ensure that is through legal animation. When it comes to medical court cases, word of mouth can’t simply be enough to explain the situation to the jurors, and visual aids have to come in for better understanding.
Clear pictures should show the differences between a normal functioning liver and one plagued by cancer. In addition, there should be animation of a rapidly degrading liver, along with pictures of the disheartening changes the cancer patient would have gone through that obviously could have been prevented if the defendants had detected the tumors on time.
Also, an expert witness should be brought forward who would show the court exhibits of the CT scans of the victim’s liver lesions or infections and should explain with animation how that bloomed into a tumor. The processes that should have been taken to nip it in the bud should also be exhibited with video presentation. This illustration will help the jurors see what went wrong and how the medical practitioners in charge could’ve easily stopped it.
With all these, the plaintiffs could secure a direct win in the court as the jurors would realize that negligence shouldn’t even be uttered concerning such a fatal case.