Nobody ever wants to receive a cancer diagnosis. If you have cancer, however, a timely diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death. When it comes to breast cancer, patients should hope for a diagnosis as soon as possible. That way, the patient can start treatments and/or surgeries to eliminate the cancer right away.
Failure to diagnose breast cancer can make treatment more difficult, potentially resulting in additional surgeries, health problems, and even death. If a failure to diagnose stemmed from medical negligence, the medical malpractice attorneys at Anapol Weiss want to hear from you.
Dangers of Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer
Every year, doctors diagnose nearly 260,000 women in the United States with breast cancer. This type of cancer occurs when malignant cells form in the breast tissues. There are five stages of breast cancer. When detected early, in stages zero to two, breast cancer has a five-year relative survival rate of 100%. Early diagnosis can happen through breast self-exams, regular clinical exams, mammograms, and biopsy.
As the disease progresses and moves into stages three and four, the patient’s prognosis grows more delicate. The tumor may grow and affect a larger number of lymph nodes. Eventually, the cancer can move to invade other organs, such as the liver, lungs, and brain. At this point, there may be no effective treatment for the breast cancer. As you can see, a quick diagnosis can make all the difference in the patient’s outcome. Failure to diagnose can lead to delayed treatment and the cancer spreading.
What Causes Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer?
In treating breast cancer, the goal is to detect the tumors before the cancer begins to create symptoms. This is possible through regular screenings and breast exams. When a doctor or radiologist fails to diagnose breast cancer, it is almost always from medical malpractice. This is because breast cancer is a relatively simple cancer to detect with the proper patient care, tests, and procedures. Failure to do so can lead to failure to diagnose and a less-optimistic survival rate.
Health care experts have training to utilize mammograms, ultrasounds, MRIs, and breast exams to discover lumps, masses, or other signs of breast cancer. Tests are only as effective as the medical provider that interprets the results. Missing a diagnosis is nothing short of negligent and points to improper care or errors reading test results. If a doctor hears compelling evidence that points to breast cancer but fails to order screening tests, negligence has occurred.
A doctor may fail to diagnose breast cancer from incompetence, lack of training, distraction, carelessness, or gross negligence. Failure to diagnose can lead to terrible outcomes that the patient may have otherwise avoided, such as having to get a full mastectomy or losing the chance to recover. Delaying a diagnosis can lead to the disease having time to grow and spread. This increases the risk of needing surgeries, prolonged treatments, and losing the patient’s battle with cancer.
Your Legal Options in Philadelphia
At Anapol Weiss, we believe a physician responsible for failure to diagnose breast cancer should face legal consequences. There is no excuse for a doctor’s failure to diagnose breast cancer if a patient exhibits warning signs of this disease. Only negligence stands between a patient and a proper breast cancer diagnosis. If you or a loved one is a victim of failure to diagnose breast cancer in Philadelphia, let us help you understand your rights in the civil courtroom.
Filing a claim against the responsible doctor and/or health care facility can result in monetary awards for your pain and suffering, medical expenses (including all surgeries, tests, and therapies), emotional distress, lost wages, and lost quality of life. While we know compensation can’t erase the damages failure to diagnose caused, it can help you and your family stay in control of finances during expensive medical procedures. To schedule your consultation, contact us today.