As the name indicates, breast cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the breast tissue. One in eight women will have a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. However, it is not exclusive to women. Men also develop breast cancer, but it is much less common.
Research shows that breast cancer causes roughly 39,620 deaths each year. Because of this, early detection, as well as an effective treatment, are critical for patients with breast cancer. However, this is not always the case. Many times, people receive a misdiagnosis.
It may be present in two ways. The first case is those who receive false positives and others who receive false negatives. None of these scenarios is better than the others. Each can be detrimental to your whole being. So, how often is breast cancer misdiagnosed?
Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis
The prime reason for breast cancer misdiagnosis is medical error. More often than not, a medical professional may misdiagnose you as having breast cancer when you do not. The mix-up occurs due to the symptoms you exhibit.
That happens when a physician fails to consider the presenting symptoms fully. Misdiagnosis may also include situations where you have cancer, yet you get a negative diagnosis. These misdiagnoses may keep you from receiving treatment until it is too late.
False positive diagnoses may include breast cysts, blocked milk ducts, or other benign ailments. In these cases, a physician may confuse these as cancer cells since they have similar traits to those of breast cancer. The rate of getting a false-positive mammogram is relatively higher than a false-negative mammogram. Breast cancer overdiagnosis accounts for approximately 22 to 31 percent of all breast cancer misdiagnoses.
Diagnosis of Breast Cancer
There is controversy over how some doctors interpret breast cancer screening and test results. Mammograms may also not provide sufficient images of particular areas of the breasts. All these may contribute to a diagnosis error. So, doctors may use more than one test to figure out if a patient has breast cancer or not, since a single result isn’t always accurate.
Additionally, women should perform regular breast self-examinations. They should also report even the slightest changes to a qualified medical professional. In the case of specific breast cancer symptoms, one should seek a second opinion from a specialized breast cancer physician. They can run separate tests and develop their own diagnosis.
Caution During Breast Cancer Screening
The American Cancer Society recommends that you get annual mammograms starting at age 40. However, studies also show that women who begin to get annual mammograms at this age are more likely to get a false positive diagnosis. They have a 61% chance of getting this diagnosis or higher. A false positive diagnosis can adversely affect your health and body. Therefore, it is advisable to take caution after a breast cancer screening.
Breast cancer is the second biggest cause of death due to cancer in American women. Earlier mammograms provide an opportunity to deal with the disease in its early stages. However, misdiagnosis does occur. Even though you might think that doctors and nurses will take every precaution when they find cancerous cells, you should still be careful.
Causes of Breast Cancer Diagnosis Errors
Misdiagnosis may happen for various reasons. These may include physician negligence, difficulty identifying symptoms, or faulty devices and results. However, diagnosis errors for breast cancers may sometimes occur despite proper care and full competency. When they do, a healthcare professional exposes a patient to life-threatening consequences. The law, therefore, allows victims to seek compensation for their losses and damages.
Why Should You Take Action?
You should take action and file medical malpractice cases because when a physician fails to detect breast cancer symptoms, this gives cancer leeway to proceed to a more advanced phase. It increases the risk of harm. The higher the level of cancer, the lower the likelihood of a recession.
False positive mammograms can also be devastating since they subject one to unnecessary surgery and treatments. These may be painful, harmful, and expensive. The damage that results may also be irreversible. It may make it difficult to ever return to your daily activities.
Seeking Compensation for Misdiagnosis
A patient can file a lawsuit for medical malpractice against the physician for the misdiagnosis of breast cancer. That is if the misdiagnosis is due to their negligence or incompetence. Negligence and incompetence in these cases can include when the doctor fails to:
- Order an appropriate mammogram or test.
- Carry out breast biopsies of abnormal tissue.
- Read and interpret the results of a breast cancer test accurately.
- Accurately treat or delay breast cancer treatment.
- Assess a breast lump correctly.
- Appropriately monitor an abnormality in the breast tissue, even if it appears benign at the time.
- Inform the patient of the mammogram or biopsy results.
- Communicate with the patient’s other doctors. It is vital to ensure they meet the treatment needs of cancer patients.
You are liable to receive compensation from the physician in the above instances. Therefore, you should not shy away from fighting for justice. Compensation in these cases can include;
- Lost income.
- Medical bills
- Lost earning ability.
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
Do you need to contact an Experienced Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer?
If you or a loved one is suffering from a late diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or false diagnosis of breast cancer; you need to talk to an experienced attorney today. A skilled, experienced lawyer can look at your case and tell you your best legal options.
Frischman and Rizza is a Pittsburg legal team of experienced, highly skilled medical malpractice attorneys. We have the knowledge, experience, and resources to help you seek compensation for injury or death due to cancer diagnosis errors with a medical malpractice lawsuit. Let us legally fight for you to get the rightful compensation you deserve.
For more information on cancer misdiagnosis, visit Frischman and Rizza at our offices in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You can call (412) 291-9377 to get a free consultation or book an appointment today.