October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s held in to promote screening and prevention of the disease, which affects one in eight women in the United States every year and 2.3 million women worldwide.
Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the tissues of the breast. It’s estimated that 287,500 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S. this year, as well as 51,400 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer. It’s also estimated that 43,550 women will die from breast cancer in the United States this year.
Although it’s rare, men can get breast cancer. And in 2022, an estimated 2,710 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. of those, more than 500 men will die from breast cancer.
A failure to diagnose breast cancer, a wrong diagnosis, or a delay can delay needed treatments that may mean survival or death.
Breast cancer misdiagnosis happens when a physician or pathologist incorrectly classifies cancerous breast tissue as normal or vice versa. This mistake can delay vital treatment. Early detection, before the cancer has the opportunity to spread to other parts of the body, drastically increases the rate of survival.
Breast lumps that are caused by breast cancer could be diagnosed as benign conditions like a blocked milk duct, breast cyst, or fibroadenomas.
Delayed diagnosis of breast cancer happens when a physician fails to properly observe and identify signs of cancer in a patient. A medical malpractice diagnosis alleges that the physician had reasonable evidence of cancer signs and symptoms but acted negligently by failing to investigate the possibility of breast cancer.
In many instances, a patient’s cancer doesn’t show clear signs until later stages, when the cancer may have metastasized or spread to other parts of the body. A common reason for delayed diagnosis is a doctor’s failure to identify more subtle, early symptoms of breast cancer.
Physician negligence may be the reason for a delayed or misdiagnosis of breast cancer that presents medically clear and suggestive symptoms. This is the result of the doctor’s failure to follow proper cancer diagnosis processes and procedures. Physician negligence includes:
• Failure to ask about the patient’s condition;
• Failure to perform the appropriate testing; and
• Failure to correctly interpret symptoms and test results.
A delayed diagnosis of breast cancer can result in dire consequences. Many patients miss a critical opportunity when cancer treatment may have been most effective.
On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis can and does impact breast cancer patients, and the consequences of a delayed diagnosis—and, as a result, delayed treatment—are usually significantly more severe for those dealing with the most aggressive forms of cancer.
If you or a loved one has suffered harm due to a missed or delayed cancer diagnosis, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney at Buchanan Firm in Michigan for a free consultation. We can discuss your situation if you believe you’ve been injured as the result of a misdiagnosis, missed diagnosis, or an error in lab results.
Our firm proudly serves people all across Michigan, including major cities like Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Detroit, Lansing, Holland, St. Joe, and Ann Arbor, and rural towns such as Lowell, Ada, Fremont, Newaygo, Grand Haven, Rockford, and Cedar Springs. We will meet you after-hours, at home or in the hospital to accommodate you.
Contact us today!