Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer Attorney

Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer Attorney

The delay in diagnosing serious illnesses can result in debilitating injuries, and sometimes even death. When patients with cancer are delayed, their success rates are reduced almost always, and some treatment options are eliminated.

It is unfortunately common for breast cancer to go undiagnosed and untreated. Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of cancer are common causes of malpractice cases. When breast cancer is not detected or diagnosed early enough, the effects can be devastating.

When a Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer Attorney Is Needed

Breast cancer can be successfully treated if caught early. Symptoms of breast cancer can be similar to other diseases, so proper diagnosis is vital. A breast cancer test like a mammogram or biopsy is commonly used by medical professionals to detect the disease.

These tests are not ordered often enough by doctors. A failure to perform the proper tests may also result in the wrong diagnosis, such as a radiologist misreading a film or a pathologist misreading a slide, postponing the process.

Cancer diagnosis delays can worsen the prognosis or treatment and can even be fatal. A skilled attorney can help determine if a misdiagnosis took place.

Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is an option if your physician’s negligence resulted in a delay in the diagnosis of your breast cancer.

In addition, there are instances of a physician failing to recognize breast cancer on a mammogram, failing to follow the proper screening guidelines, or failing to address a breast lump or other symptoms of breast cancer appropriately.

Requirements to Win a Breast Cancer Medical Malpractice Case

There are two things that must be proven to win a breast cancer medical malpractice case. First, it is important to show your breast cancer was not detected sooner due to malpractice (medical negligence) on the part of one or more doctors.

The second point to prove is if the diagnosis of breast cancer happened at the right time, your outcome would have been significantly different.

The Signs of Breast Cancer

A vital part of your breast health is knowing what your breasts look and feel like. Having regular breast cancer screenings is important, but mammograms do not detect all breast cancers.

Breast cancer is most commonly detected by the appearance of a new lump or mass. In addition to lumps that are painless, hard, and have irregular edges, breast cancer can also be soft, round, tender, or even painful.

Some of the other symptoms include:

  • Breast lump or lump underarm
  • Breast swelling or thickening
  • Dimples or irritation of breasts
  • Nipple or breast redness or flakiness
  • Intense pulling of the nipple or nipple pain
  • Bloody discharge from the nipple
  • Changes in the breast size or shape
  • Breast pain at any point

Breast cancer does not necessarily mean a person will have any or all these symptoms. An infection can also cause a discharge from the nuchal fold. Any of these signs and symptoms should be evaluated by a doctor.

Common Breast Cancer Diagnosis Errors

Breast cancer is unfortunately frequently misdiagnosed. A misdiagnosis can be very serious. There are many forms of it, including diagnosis error, a delay in diagnosis, and failure to diagnose.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death for women, behind only lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. According to the organization, there will be over 280,000 new cases of breast cancer in this country in 2021, and 43,600 women will die from the disease.

There was a joint study by two medical malpractice insurance providers on breast cancer misdiagnosis. Between 2009 and 2014, researchers reviewed approximately 600 medical malpractice claims related to breast cancer.

A delayed diagnosis of breast cancer was involved in more than half of those cases. Diagnostic errors accounted for the majority of cases. There were two main problems:

  • Misinterpreting diagnostic studies
  • Failing to order diagnostic tests

Similarly, one 2020 study found that mortality rates for breast cancer patients increased by approximately 8% for every four-week delay in treatment.

The Different Stages of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer includes five stages, starting at 0 and increasing to 4. There are several variables within some stages.

  • Stage 0: Indicates the very start of the scale. Precancerous cancers or noninvasive cancers are considered Stage 0. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the most common form of noninvasive cancer. Stage 0 indicates that normal tissue has not been invaded by cancer cells or other abnormal cells.
  • Stage I: Signifies invasive cancer in its very early stages. Cells in the tumor have spread to normal breast tissue around it. However, they remain confined to a small area. There are two subcategories of Stage I:
    • Stage IA: tumors measure up to 20 millimeters (about the size of a grape) and there is no lymph node cancer.
    • Stage IB : tumors are either small tumors in the breast that are less than 20 millimeters in diameter or small cancer cells in the lymph nodes, but no tumor in the breast.
  • Stage II: Breast cancer that has spread beyond a limited region is called Stage II. In this stage, cancer cells are found in a large number of lymph nodes. There are two subcategories of this stage.
    • Stage IIA: Either the breast is cancer-free, or there is a breast tumor up to 20 millimeters in diameter, along with cancer spreading to the lymph nodes under the arm.
    • Stage IIB: : On the breast, there is a tumor ranging in size from 20 to 50 millimeters, as well as cancer spread to one to three nearby lymph nodes.
  • Stage III: As cancer spreads deeper into the breast or the tumor becomes larger than in earlier stages, stage III breast cancer is more advanced. It is further subdivided into three subgroups.
    • Stage IIIA: Four to nine lymph nodes nearby are affected by cancer, whether there is a tumor in the breast or not. Breast cancer has spread to one to three nearby lymph nodes if the tumor is larger than 50 millimeters.
    • Stage IIIB: Several lymph nodes have spread behind the breast. Additional factors that determine this stage include: Several lymph nodes have spread behind the breast, an ulcerated area or wound, or as many as nine lymph nodes under the arm.
    • Stage IIIC: Depending on the size of the tumor, there may not be any tumor present in the breast. If cancer has spread, it could have spread to the following: ten or more lymph nodes under the arm, collarbone lymph nodes, under the arm and breastbone lymph nodes, or the skin.
  • Stage IV: The most advanced stage of breast cancer is Stage IV. It has spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body, including nearby lymph nodes. As a result, your bones or organs may be affected – such as the lungs, liver, or brain. If a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in stage IV, it can be a recurrence of a previously diagnosed cancer that has spread.
Recoverable Damages in a Breast Cancer Medical Malpractice Case

As part of a medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff must not only demonstrate that the defendant breached the applicable standard of care, but also that the breach was directly responsible for the injury, which means the injury would not have occurred absent the breach. Expert testimony is often required to prove causation.

Plaintiffs who successfully demonstrate that a defendant was negligent for failing to diagnose breast cancer may recover monetary damages such as medical expenses and lost wages, as well as compensation for damages such as pain and suffering as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Plaintiff’s spouse may also be owed compensation if he or she was married at the time the plaintiff suffered harm.

Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer Statistics to Know

Every year, medical professionals make a substantial number of misdiagnoses and delay diagnoses related to breast cancer. The patient’s cancer may worsen unnecessarily because of a breast cancer misdiagnosis.

Cancer can progress to a later stage-even, becoming incurable when a diagnosis is delayed. Early diagnosis might have made treating the patient’s cancer easier. Below are a few statistics regarding cancer misdiagnoses:

  • 115 U.S. pathologists investigated 240 breast biopsy specimens, and only half of all precancerous breast cells were correctly diagnosed. One-third of these cases were wrongly identified as normal.
  • On average, between 22% and 31% of breast cancer cases are overdiagnosed.
  • Approximately 11% of mammograms result in false positives, leading to unnecessary chemo and treatments. Misdiagnosis of breast cancer occurs between 10% and 20% of the time, according to The Journal of the American Medical Association.
  • Mammograms fail to detect one out of five breast cancers, according to the American Cancer Society.
Call a Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer Attorney Today

When people have lost a loved one due to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, we are ready to put our knowledge, skills, and dedication to work. Even a routine problem can metastasize and spread, decreasing or even eliminating recovery chances. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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