Breast Cancer - Diagnosis Errors

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:31 by admin
Failure to diagnose breast cancer, or a significant delay in so doing, is the second most common medical mistake. Only the misdiagnosis of heart attacks results in more medical malpractice litigation.

Unfortunately, women who develop breast cancer that goes undetected by their doctor for a significant period of time, have a much-reduced chance of survival. Such delays in diagnosing breast cancer typically occur in women under 50 years of age. Many doctors negligently assume that women under 50 do not have a significant chance of developing breast cancer. While that assumption may have some merit, many younger women do suffer from the deadly condition. Doctors must be aware that breast cancer can occur at any age and they must remain vigilant.

The most common situations in which medical malpractice cases for breast cancer misdiagnosis are filed involve:

- misdiagnosis of a malignant lump as fibrocystic disease,
- failure to perform a breast examination or failure to identify a currently existing lump during an examination,
- failure to order a biopsy of an identified lump,
- reassuring the patient that a lump is benign when such reassurance results in patient complacency,
- failure to evaluate nipple discharge commonly associated with Paget's Disease or other conditions,
- failure of the doctor to properly monitor and follow-up abnormal mammograms or ultrasounds,
- failure to order or properly evaluate mammograms.

Often, malignant growths that would require a lumpectomy if diagnosed in a timely manner, instead result in mastectomy due to a doctor's error in diagnosing breast cancer. In many cases, the delay tragically results in an otherwise preventable death.

Don't pay for your doctor's negligence. If you are living with the consequences of a misdiagnosis, or if a loved one needlessly died because of a healthcare professional's negligence, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. Diagnosis Errors
  2. Cancer
  3. Paget's Disease: Overview
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