In 2006, nearly 13,000 Florida women were diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the most recent statistics published in the Florida Annual Cancer Report. The same study showed that 33 percent of the breast cancer cases had reached an advanced stage at the time of initial diagnosis.
The key to successful treatment of breast cancer is early and accurate detection. When breast cancer is misdiagnosed or undetected and allowed to reach an advanced stage without treatment, the breast cancer patient’s chances of survival rapidly diminish.
For example, a woman who is diagnosed with Stage 0 cancer, also called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), has a 100 percent chance of survival. However, a woman whose cancer was not diagnosed until the cancer escalated to Stage III cancer has just a 67 percent chance of survival after five years, based on the 2005 National Cancer Data Base and American Cancer Society statistics.
Physicians and other medical professionals who fail to diagnose breast cancer or provide a patient with an incorrect diagnosis can be held responsible for medical malpractice.
Types of Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis
While incidents of breast cancer misdiagnosis are “exceedingly difficult to determine …,” the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation stated in a 2006 white paper that it is possible that as many as 90,000 people may be “living or dying with an incorrect diagnosis.”
There are several medical mistakes that can seriously harm a woman who is afflicted with breast cancer. A single error in the process of evaluating possible breast cancer can delay treatment and allow the cancer to spread.
A doctor’s failure to order further tests when breast cancer is suspected may mean that he or she failed to conform to the standard of care required under the circumstances. If this is the case, the physician may be liable for medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
Similarly, a radiologist or pathologist may make a serious medical error by misreading the mammogram or biopsy results. The radiologist or pathologist may have been negligent in reviewing the results of the test and can be held responsible for the devastating error.
An Attorney Can Help
A breast cancer misdiagnosis can be frightening and confusing. For guidance and an evaluation of your legal rights after a breast cancer misdiagnosis, contact a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney, like those at Greenberg Stone and Urbano An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can assess your case and help you receive the compensation you deserve. For more information, visit us at www.sgglaw.com.