With breast cancers affecting 10% of women, the need for fast and effective diagnostics is more critical than ever. With the fast rates that some of these cancers can progress, delay in diagnosis is a primary concern when it comes to treating it effectively.
Understanding your diagnostic risk areas
When you arrive at a medical facility for a routine examination, you expect that the physicians and staff of that facility are practicing under the standards of medical care that provide experienced and skilled physicians with the oversight necessary to maintain a high level of care. When those safeguards aren’t in place and a physician or technician produces a test that results in a delayed diagnosis, the impacts on your life could be catastrophic. Here are some of the most common types of misdiagnoses when it comes to breast cancer:
- Alternative illness: A physician may misdiagnose breast cancer as a breast cyst, fibroadenoma or blocked milk duct.
- Misidentified cancer: Sometimes, the cancer diagnosis is correct, but the form is incorrectly identified as non-invasive or benign. These types of cases may only reveal themselves years later when cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
- Delayed diagnosis: There are many reasons why a physician might fail to order the tests and diagnostics necessary to rule out breast cancer. Often the combination of the patient’s age, their risk factors, the emerging symptoms and the immediately available screening methods can influence a doctor to pursue other lines of investigation. Since early diagnosis is so vital to successful breast cancer treatment, this kind of delay must be avoided at all costs.
Supporting the fight against breast cancer
When your cancer goes undiagnosed for too long, the results can be utterly life-altering for you and your family. Doctors must be held responsible for their failure to perform the due diligence necessary to diagnose a potentially life-threatening cancer. Once you receive the correct diagnosis, you’ll need help to support your family and pay for expensive medical procedures while you undergo treatment. If you feel your physician may have been negligent in diagnosing your cancer, contact an attorney with experience in medical malpractice cases related to misdiagnoses.