Physicians in Montana might fail to identify rare and potentially deadly diseases like osteosarcoma of the foot. Most cases of osteosarcoma afflict teenagers in other parts of the body, which adds to the difficulty of recognizing the malignant tumor within the foot. This form also typically strikes adults.
Any tumors of the foot are very rare. The vast majority of bone tumors, between 94 and 97 percent, grow elsewhere in the body. Additionally, 75 to 85 percent of foot tumors are benign. They could be painful and require treatment, but they do not threaten health like a malignant growth that spreads cancer throughout the body.
Chondrosarcoma and Ewing's sarcoma present two other forms of malignant bone tumors that sometimes strike the feet. Chondrosarcoma can be difficult to distinguish from the benign enchondroma. The location of Ewing's sarcoma within the foot influences the chances of a patient's survival. Disease in the hindfoot creates a greater danger to life than the disease in the forefoot.
A physician must take several steps to diagnose these forms of disease. Other problems will need to be ruled out with medical testing. Treatment of a malignant growth generally requires the attention of several medical specialists to provide radiation, chemotherapy and surgery to remove the tumor.
Someone whose health deteriorates because a physician failed to meet accepted medical standards to achieve an accurate diagnosis or provide appropriate treatment could be a victim of medical malpractice. An attorney familiar with the litigation of medical cases could investigate the potential of pursuing damages with a lawsuit. After assembling medical records and expert testimony, a lawyer might approach the medical provider and request a settlement. When necessary, an attorney could advance the case to a jury trial.