Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women, yet one of the most frequently missed by physicians. As little as a few months can make the difference in successfully treating breast cancer. Therefore, if the cancer is diagnosed late or misdiagnosed due to medical malpractice, the end result can be difficult and prolonged treatments that degrade a patient’s quality of life – or even cause death. When a patient dies, the entire family is thrown into upheaval and instability. In spite of considerable advances in cancer detection technology and treatments, medical professionals can still misinterpret tests, or order tests later than is reasonable.
Common signs of breast cancer
There are common signs in the early stages of breast cancer, which include:
- A suspicious mass (or lump)
- Discharge from the nipple
- Painful breasts
- Reddened breasts
If these symptoms are interpreted correctly, diagnostic tests such as mammograms or ultrasounds can be ordered.
Early diagnosis of breast cancer is key
Once a mammogram has been performed, it is the responsibility of the physician and the technician to read it correctly. Radiologists have been known to miss masses, areas of calcification, and other abnormalities on mammograms that are suggestive of malignancy. Physicians are required to perform a biopsy (take a tissue sample) of any breast lump, even for negative mammograms. If an abnormality shows up on a mammogram, even if no lump is felt, a biopsy can still be performed as a precaution.
Legal advice for late or misdiagnosed breast cancer
Most cancers are treatable with early detection. It is the responsibility of the treating physician and technicians to provide adequate medical care for their patients, including correctly interpreting symptoms, ordering follow-up tests in a timely manner, and correctly reading test results. The failure to take these proper precautions or to perform procedures correctly – as another, reasonable medical personnel would have done – is medical malpractice.
Prompt attention is required for breast cancer malpractice
Under the statute of limitations, there is a limited amount of time after your incident in which you are able to pursue legal action. Therefore, it is imperative to get prompt legal advice from attorneys who are familiar with medical malpractice and who have access to a variety of medical experts in cancer-related fields such as oncology, pharmacology, and pathology. The lawyers at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. are highly experienced and knowledgeable in medical malpractice law and are committed to maximizing your legal results. If you believe that the breast cancer affecting you or a loved one was diagnosed incorrectly or not in a timely manner, please call us at 1-888-575-6410 or fill out our online contact form to speak with one of our qualified medical malpractice lawyers. We will fight for you!