Delayed Breast Cancer Diagnosis

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Breast cancer is a frightening diagnosis to receive, but the good news is that catching it early greatly increase your chances of recovery. However, when breast cancer is not detected or is misdiagnosed as another illness, patients could suffer serious consequences.

Breast Cancer Malpractice

When doctors or other healthcare providers act negligently, they should be held responsible for their actions.

Victims of breast cancer misdiagnosis may have to suffer from extended, aggressive treatments or invasive surgical procedures like chemotherapy or mastectomies as a result of the delayed diagnosis. These treatments come at a cost, and patients could be struggling to pay for medical bills and other expenses when they should be focused on recovery.

A medical malpractice attorney experienced in breast cancer misdiagnosis lawsuits can help victims get the compensation they need to cover their damages by gathering evidence, hiring expert witnesses, negotiating a fair settlement, or—if needed—representing them in the courtroom.

If your breast cancer was misdiagnosed, find a qualified medical malpractice lawyer to be your advocate.

Types of Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis

Breast cancer misdiagnosis can take many forms, including a failure to diagnose, a delayed diagnosis, or a wrong diagnosis.

Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer

A failure to diagnose occurs when a doctor should have been able to correctly diagnose breast cancer in a patient based on common symptoms or readily available screening tests but failed to do so.

Delayed Breast Cancer Diagnosis

A delayed breast cancer diagnosis is when a doctor accurately diagnoses a patient’s breast cancer but does so too late. The consequences of a delayed diagnosis can be far reaching—more aggressive treatments, invasive surgery, or even death.

Wrong Breast Cancer Diagnosis

A wrong breast cancer diagnosis describes a situation where a doctor gives a patient a false positive (the doctor says the patient has a condition the patient does not have) or a false negative (the doctor determines the patient is healthy when the patient actually has breast cancer). It can also occur if a doctor diagnoses a breast cancer patient with the wrong type of cancer.

Why Delayed Breast Cancer Diagnosis Occurs

Not all medical mistakes are the result negligence, but there are many errors that could lead to a breast cancer misdiagnosis and—depending on the circumstances—may be considered medical malpractice.

Diagnosis Mistakes

When it comes to breast cancer, diagnosis mistakes can take several forms:

  • Misreading pathology studies
  • Misreading a mammogram or ultrasound
  • Interpreting test results incorrectly
  • Failing to recognize the symptoms of breast cancer
  • Diagnosing and treating breast cancer as another illness

These mistakes can occur at any part of the diagnosis process, and several parties could be held accountable for negligent actions.

Testing Errors

Faulty mammograms or ultrasounds are a common cause of a delayed or missed breast cancer diagnosis. Radiologists who act negligently when performing these tests should be held responsible.

Similarly, an inaccurate sampling or reading of breast tissue by a doctor could also be considered negligence.

Physician Inaction

Any of these mistakes on the part of a doctor or other healthcare provider could lead to a breast cancer diagnosis error:

  • Failure to order adequate diagnostic tests, such as a mammogram or ultrasound
  • Failure to timely and/or appropriately perform a biopsy
  • Failure to follow up on an abnormal test result
  • Failure to refer the patient to a specialist

Negligence is just as much action as it is inaction. If an average physician would have acted in these scenarios, but your doctor failed to act, you may be able to file a breast cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit.

Miscommunication with Patient

Communicating with patients is a key part of healthcare. When doctors fail to listen to patient complaints, consider a patient’s medical or family history, disclose test results with a patient, or follow up with a patient, the consequences could be severe.

Filing a Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawsuit

To file a breast cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit, you must prove the four essential elements of medical malpractice:

  • There was an established doctor-patient relationship
  • Your doctor breached the standard of care
  • You were injured
  • Your injuries were a direct result of your doctor’s actions or inactions

An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you file a lawsuit and seek financial compensation for your damages—such as medical bills, lost wages, reconstructive surgery, rehabilitation costs, and pain and suffering.

Contact a Delayed Breast Cancer Diagnosis Attorney Today

The medical malpractice attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham have decades of experience in restoring the lives of our injured clients. If you or a loved one have suffered from a breast cancer diagnosis error, contact the lawyers at WKW. We can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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