Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawsuit
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Breast cancer that goes undiagnosed delays appropriate care and may be source of a breast cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit. Misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis both cause treatment delays that can result in the cancer progressing to a more severe stage. When cancer grows, or spreads into other areas of the body, the treatments are often less effective and the patient’s overall prognosis declines. If a doctor failed to diagnose your breast cancer, you may have the grounds for a breast cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women in the US, behind lung cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer. The A 2006 Susan G. Komen for the Cure study estimated that up to 4% of breast cancer diagnoses were misdiagnosed. This means that more than 90,000 people might be affected by a breast cancer missed or misdiagnosis. Imaging studies called mammograms are key tools in early identification and diagnosis of breast cancer. Early detection and treatment are pivotal in treatment effectiveness. Early detection may also reduce the invasiveness of the treatment and limit the side effects.
Breast Cancer Lawsuits due to
A doctor who fails to diagnose breast cancer due to professional negligence can be subject to a breast cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit. Cancers that are caught while in an early stage can often be removed with a localized lump removal surgery. However, later stage cancers may require a full mastectomy (removal of the entire breast), lymph node removal, radiation, or chemotherapy. All these treatments can have intense side effects and take a damaging toll on the woman’s physical and mental health.
Cancer detection that is unnecessarily delayed by misdiagnosis can also put the patient at greater risk of a cancer reoccurrence in the future. In the worst cases, the breast cancer has advanced so far that it is no longer able to be treated and death is inevitable. When a health care provider does not take reasonable action to detect and treat breast cancer while in its early stages, the patient may want to consider a breast cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit.
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How are Breast Cancers Misdiagnosed?
The American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Radiology, the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network all have issued guidelines saying that all women should be eligible for screening mammograms starting at age 40. Patients at higher risk of breast cancer are recommended to talk with their doctor about a more aggressive screening plan that might include an additional breast MRI or ultrasound.
The most common type of misdiagnosis for breast cancer is when a radiologist fails to recognize the signs of cancer during a screening or diagnostic mammogram. If the radiologist does not identify a suspicious finding on a mammogram, then subsequent follow-ups to detect cancer, such as a biopsy, often do not occur. Failure to follow-up on suspicious findings can give the cancer time to metastasize or spread to other parts to the body.
Other misdiagnoses of breast cancer have occurred when a doctor does not notice signs of breast cancer during physical breast examination. A physician who notices that lump has changed but fails to order additional diagnostic tests, such as an ultrasound or biopsy, may be responsible for a delayed diagnosis. Additionally, some misdiagnoses have occurred when a pathologist misinterprets biopsy results as non-cancerous, when the tumor is malignant. If the health care provider’s actions or inactions prevented you from getting a timely diagnosis of breast cancer, it may be malpractice and you can choose to file a breast cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit.
A breast cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit can be a complex claim. You may have multiple physicians and health care providers from multiple specialties involved. A personal injury attorney who specializes in delayed cancer diagnoses can provide the expert guidance you need in these matters. Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation. We can help determine if you have the grounds to file a claim and seek compensation for injuries caused by a breast cancer misdiagnosis.
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