The misdiagnosis of a serious illness can bring great consequences. Attorney Alvin de Levie outlines what to do if you experience a breast cancer misdiagnosis.
PHILADELPHIA, PA, UNITED STATES, June 29, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ — Breast cancer is a serious problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2014 (the most recent numbers available), almost 237,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States and over 41,000 of those women died from breast cancer. We have all seen the pink ribbons from organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation on bumper-stickers and t-shirts to raise awareness of breast cancer. Efforts that spread awareness of breast cancer are important, as the American Cancer Society notes those who begin receiving breast cancer treatment early have the highest survival rates.
Unfortunately, despite growing awareness in both the medical community and among the public, many medical providers fail to properly diagnose breast cancer. In this instance, it's important to hire a medical malpractice lawyer. According to a study of breast cancer survivors performed by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, more than 90,000 women received incorrect breast cancer diagnoses. Sometimes, a doctor may misread the patient’s symptoms and diagnose the patient with another medical problem, resulting in a misdiagnosis of breast cancer. Other times, the doctor may miss the symptoms entirely and incorrectly give the patient a clean bill of health, resulting in a failure to diagnose breast cancer. Because early intervention is so important to increase a breast cancer victim’s chances of survival, the failure to make a prompt and proper diagnosis wastes valuable time during which cancer can spread.
What Are The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer?
Symptoms of breast cancer vary from person to person. According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, symptoms of breast cancer include:
-Skin changes, such as redness, swelling or noticeable differences in one or both breasts;
-An unexplained increase in size or shape of the breast;
-Nipple discharges (not including breast milk);
-Pain in or on any part of the breast;
-Lumps or nodes that can be felt on or inside of the breast;
-Changes in the appearance of one or both nipples (such as inverted nipples or swollen nipples).
The Cancer Treatment Centers of America also notes several symptoms of more invasive stages of breast cancer, including:
-Change in breast color;
-Peeling or flaking of the skin around the nipple;
-A breast lump or thickening of the breast; and
-Irritated or itchy breasts.
According to the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, women should get yearly mammograms starting at age 40 to detect early signs of breast cancer. Regardless of whether you have reached the age where annual screening is recommended, the American Cancer Society recommends that all women of any age be vigilant and report any changes in how their breasts look or feel to their health care provider immediately.
What Kinds Of Failures Lead To A Misdiagnosis Of Breast Cancer?
There are many kinds of negligence that leads either the misdiagnosis of breast cancer or the complete failure to diagnose breast cancer, including:
Breakdowns in Communication Between Doctor and Patient: Women with a family history of breast cancer are often are a higher risk than those without such a history. Medical providers sometimes fail to obtain a proper and thorough medical history that includes whether any relatives have been diagnosed with breast cancer. This can make a medical provider less diligent in examining the client for symptoms of breast cancer. Medical providers may also fail to follow up with their clients when they do report potential symptoms of breast cancer to ensure additional symptoms have not developed.
Breakdowns in Communication Between Medical Providers: The diagnosis and management of breast cancer often involves a chain of many different medical providers. Your doctor, radiologists, specialists and outside testing facilities all need to work as a team to ensure the proper screening and tests are performed and that the results of those tests get to the right medical providers in time. A breakdown in communication between these providers can result in several errors that can lead to misdiagnosis, such as failing to order the right test or a failure to promptly report adverse findings.
Incorrect Readings and interpretations of Diagnostic Tests: Many times, a misdiagnosis may be due to the simple fact the radiologist or doctor misreads diagnostic tests. The medical provider may miss a lump or node that appears on a mammogram or ultrasound and incorrectly tell the patient there is nothing to worry about. Other times, the medical provider reviewing the test results may interpret the results incorrectly, leading the provider to incorrectly decide that what is in fact breast cancer is merely inflammation or another kind of medical problem.
In either case, these failures prevent breast cancer from being discovered early and rob patients of their ability to increase their chance of survival by recognizing and treating their breast cancer early.
What Should I Do If My Doctor Has Misdiagnosed Breast Cancer?
First, you should seek treatment immediately. The key to surviving breast cancer is often early intervention. Seeking the proper treatment immediately after you suspect or are diagnosed with breast cancer greatly increases survival rates.
Second, contact an experienced attorney. DO NOT DELAY! Misdiagnosed breast cancer is generally due to medical malpractice or medical negligence. There is a Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania that generally requires any medical malpractice lawsuit to be started within two (2) years of the medical malpractice or medical negligence which has caused your injuries. If you do not bring a lawsuit within the applicable two-year period, any claim that you may have will be forever barred. There are certain situations where the Statute of Limitations will be extended, but determining whether your case meet the requirements for an extension is extremely complicated. You will need an experienced attorney to review your case to see if it qualifies.
Like all medical malpractice cases, cases of misdiagnosed breast cancer are often much more complicated than other kinds of personal injury cases. Your attorney will often have to gather thousands of pages of medical records and have them reviewed by experts to determine whether the provider that misdiagnosed your cancer is guilty of medical malpractice or medical negligence. You need an experienced attorney with access to the right experts who can review the facts of your case to determine what kinds of claims you may make. Second, medical malpractice cases are often high-stakes cases that are heavily litigated and notoriously expensive. You need an attorney with the resources and perseverance to take your case all the way to trial if necessary.
At the Law Office of Alvin F. de Levie, Esq., our team has years of experience handling complex cases for those who have suffered from medical malpractice and medical negligence. If you or a loved one have suffered injury due to misdiagnosed breast cancer, please call our firm– 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – at 844-777-2529 (Toll-Free) for a consultation.
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Alvin de Levie, Esq.
Law Offices of Alvin F. de Levie
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Source: EIN Presswire