Theodore Dyke


The relationship of trauma to cancer may be of minimal import to the medical world; however, it is extremely important to the attorney from the point of view of compensation. The real problem is that no one knows what "causes"cancer. The present state of the medical art indicates that a given cancer may be caused by any of a number of factors, acting singly or jointly. Trauma is one of these factors, but the exac teffect of a single trauma in causing cancer is unknown. Medical experts will honestly differ in their opinions, because in fact they are frequently just opinions or theories and not scientific conclusions. At this point the physician's personal leanings to the plaintiff (or the defendant) may color his views; or possibly the litigant chose the given expert because of his well-known views. In any case, because the plaintiff bears the burden of proving causality, the lack of medical certainty will usually lead to a defendant's verdict