NY Lawyer for Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer
One of the most common types of medical malpractice cases is misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of cancer. This is particularly true of breast cancer, which, according to various reports, represents the largest segment of medical malpractice lawsuits in the U.S.
Breast cancer is the most common types of cancer among women in the U.S. and the leading cause of death for women ages 40 to 55. Despite this, many women who develop breast cancer and could be treated are denied the opportunity when physicians negligently fail to diagnose their condition until it is too late.
The result of this negligence is often the loss of treatment options and/or the chance of survival. The following are examples of some of the more common acts of negligence by physicians in failing to timely diagnose and/or treat breast cancer:
- Failing to order a mammogram, misinterpreting a mammogram, or otherwise failing to react to mammogram findings
- Relying upon mammography in place of a physical breast examination
- Failing to perform a breast examination which would have identified an obvious tumor
- Failing to identify a palpable lump during a breast examination
- Diagnosing a breast infection instead of a cancerous tumor
- Diagnosing a tumor as benign and failing to perform a biopsy
- Disregarding a history of sharp pain in the breast, or signs of retraction
- Failing to determine the cause of nipple discharge
- Relying upon negative aspiration biopsy
- Failing to order additional radiological tests, a biopsy, or ultrasound when appropriate
- Failing to communicate with the patient
Breast Cancer Identification
When a diagnosis of cancer is made, the physician examines the affected tissue and identifies the type of cancer by the microscopic appearance of the cells. The doctor then classifies the cancer according to how advanced it is — otherwise known as staging.
Cancer treatments vary widely depending upon the type and stage of the cancer. The probability that breast cancer will recur in a patient is directly related to the stage of the malignancy. If breast cancer is detected and addressed before the cancer has spread to any lymph nodes, the chances of survival are significantly better than if a diagnosis is made later.
Undue Delays in the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer Can Have Devastating Consequences
With most cancers, less evasive treatments that may have been available in the early stages of breast cancer which may not be available later, as more radical treatment may be required.
Tragically, the one thing that is taken from a woman when diagnosis is not properly made in the early stages is the woman’s chance for survival. If a diagnosis is not made until later, the cancer may have already spread throughout a woman’s body, and become metastasized in other organs.
No Woman Should Be Deprived of the Opportunity for Survival
Our wives, mothers, and daughters deserve much better. When doctors make critical mistakes that lead to what amounts to a death sentence, they need to be held to account for their mistakes. While we cannot change the prognosis for a breast cancer victim, we can seek to hold doctors accountable for medical malpractice.
If a doctor failed to correctly diagnose you or a loved one with cancer, we would invite you to meet with us for a free consultation so that we can explain your options for seeking recovery. We represent clients in failure to diagnose cases on a contingency fee basis, so you will not need to be concerned with paying us any fee during your case, as we are only entitled to a fee if we recover compensation for you.