Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis
When people get ill, they rely on doctors and other medical professionals to provide them with an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for doctors to misdiagnose patients, delay an accurate diagnosis, or fail to diagnose a condition altogether. Medical misdiagnosis can lead to catastrophic physical, emotional, and financial damages for the patient, and possibly even death.
Cancer, and breast cancer specifically, is commonly misdiagnosed. Medical malpractice lawyer Lynn C. Harris, serving Salt Lake City, Provo, UT, and surrounding areas, works with victims of breast cancer misdiagnosis to hold medical professionals accountable for damages stemming from their neglect.
Do I Need to Be Concerned About Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis?
Many people think that breast cancer misdiagnosis is a rare mistake, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Biopsies are one of the primary tests to diagnose breast cancer. When performing a biopsy, suspicious tissues are extracted through a needle, or surgically removed, and then examined under a microscope to determine if they are cancerous.
Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer
Today reported about a troubling study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study found that, among the cases studied, pathologists correctly diagnosed abnormal, precancerous cells only about half the time. In about a third of these cases, tissues were misdiagnosed as normal, or not worrisome.
Incorrectly Diagnosing Breast Cancer
Breast cancer misdiagnosis also involves cases where patients with normal, healthy breast tissues are misdiagnosed as having breast cancer. According to the same study, pathologists mistakenly diagnosed normal tissues as suspicious in 13 percent of the studied cases.
Why You Should Consider a Second Opinion
The findings of this study should be of concern to any patient who is diagnosed as having breast cancer, or who is told that they are healthy when they are experiencing potential breast cancer symptoms. Because of the potentially catastrophic consequences of a breast cancer misdiagnosis, we urge individuals to seek a second opinion regarding a cancer diagnosis.
How Does Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Occur?
There are many ways that a breast cancer misdiagnosis can occur, and many of them come down to medical neglect. Types of medical neglect that can lead to a delayed or missed breast cancer diagnosis include:
- Failing to screen for breast cancer or failing to perform appropriate diagnostic tests
- Misreading the results of an X-ray, MRI, CT scan, ultrasound, or mammogram
- Failing to find cancerous cells during a mammogram or other diagnostic screening
- Inaccurate biopsy readings
- Failing to report positive or suspicious test results
What Kind Of Damages Can I Collect?
Medical professionals are expected to provide care that meets up to the accepted standard. If a medical professional is neglectful, or makes a mistake that is not reasonable for someone of their experience and training, then they can be held liable for medical malpractice. Victims of medical malpractice can pursue financial compensation for the full extent of related economic and non-economic damages, which may include:
- Cost of medical care/treatment
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Funeral and burial expenses and loss of consortium (when misdiagnosis results in wrongful death)
Contact Us for Legal Guidance
If a breast cancer misdiagnosis has caused you to suffer prolonged illness or unnecessary injuries, you may have the grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. To discuss the details of your situation with medical malpractice lawyer Lynn C. Harris, send us a message online, or call our Salt Lake City law firm at (801) 521-3200.