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Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Explained
Few things are as life-changing as a diagnosis of breast cancer. However, when cancer goes undiagnosed, undetected, or incorrectly diagnosed, these events can harm the victim, resulting in catastrophic results. If you experienced a breast cancer misdiagnosis you can take your case to court.
Our medical malpractice lawyers at Villari Law can help you determine your best strategy based on your case’s unique facts and circumstances.
How Breast Cancer Gets Misdiagnosed
Medical malpractice can occur when a missed or misdiagnosis of breast cancer results in harm. In general, a missed diagnosis occurs when the cancer is not diagnosed, or the diagnosis is delayed. In contrast, a misdiagnosis occurs when the breast cancer is diagnosed as another condition or at an incorrect level.
Below are some of the most common ways that breast cancer gets misdiagnosed.
Misclassification occurs when the cancer gets diagnosed at the wrong level. As a result, breast cancer can progress and become more difficult to treat, and can metastasize to other parts of the body. As a result, treatment can be much more painful and invasive, and the prognosis of recovery can be drastically lessened. Misclassification also refers to the identification of cancer when in actuality, the breast tissue is healthy.
Failure to Diagnose
Failure to diagnose breast cancer typically results from misread tests, ordering the wrong tests, or in some instances, tests not done at all. Failing to take a complete patient history or dismissing symptoms can also lead to a failure to diagnose.
Exactly as it sounds, breast cancer can be misdiagnosed as another condition. The victim is treated for the wrong condition while the cancer progresses and worsens. The treatment of the incorrect condition may also cause harmful and unnecessary side effects to the victim, leaving them worse off than if they had never sought treatment.
Also known as a “late cancer diagnosis,” a delayed diagnosis of your breast cancer is a type of misdiagnosis where the correct diagnosis is eventually made. However, the patient still suffers harm due to the extra time it takes to reach an accurate diagnosis.
While doctors are only human, they are legally and ethically responsible for providing a reasonable standard of care to their patients. Facilities conducting tests also owe a duty of care to ensure the tests are carried out correctly, and reports are accurate. When a breast cancer misdiagnosis results from diagnostic negligence, it may be medical malpractice.
Examples of diagnostic negligence can take many forms, such as:
- Failing to order the standard tests that would be consistent with symptoms
- Misreading test results or failing to follow up with a patient about test results
- Failing to take a complete history of the patient
- Prescribing a medication that did not work and failing to follow up or misreading test(s)
- Improperly conducting a test
- Making errors in test results/reporting
- Mixing up patient test results
How Often Breast Cancer Gets Misdiagnosed
Unfortunately, breast cancer misdiagnosis is far too common. According to one study, only about 50% of precancerous breast cells were diagnosed correctly, while about 33% were diagnosed at a lesser stage. In addition, there was also a significant percentage of cases diagnosed as suspicious when the breast tissue was normal.
What a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Does to Help
If you believe you’ve experienced medical malpractice regarding your breast cancer misdiagnosis, our medical malpractice lawyers can help. Our team will first and foremost listen to you explain the life-changing events that you have experienced. We then analyze the facts of your case, consult with our respected experts, and work directly with you to develop the best possible strategy for your case. At every step of the process, we are with you and fighting for your rights.
Summary of Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Cases
Breast Cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide, and a diagnosis can be highly emotional and financially stressful – especially when you or a loved one has suffered harm. If you think you have been a victim of a breast cancer misdiagnosis, contact us directly at (215) 600-1363 or online by clicking here. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to review your case. Put our decades of experience and dedication to our clients to work for you.