Failure to Diagnose
Breast Cancer affects thousands of woman and their families every day. The effects of breast cancer can be further complicated when a health care provider fails to properly diagnose a patient.
Failure to diagnose breast cancer accounted for about 40 percent of all medical malpractice suits filed in 1999. Several of the top ten lawsuits settled (over 1 million dollars) in Massachusetts involved medical malpractice where a physician failed to identify, in a timely manner, a serious case of breast cancer.
What is failure to Diagnose?
Failure to diagnose, as it is
known in the medical and legal communities, is a form of medical
malpractice, which is the negligent or incorrect performance
of the professional duties of health care providers and institutions.
In general, there are four prerequisites for a valid claim of
1) A provider-patient relationship existed;
2) Negligent care was rendered;
3) the patient suffered damage or harm;
4) and the damage or harm done
to the patient was a direct result of the negligent care.
Why is Failure to diagnose so common?
The reason may be a preconception among the medical community that only older woman with a family history of breast cancer are at risk. A recent study lists the following as the top reasons why doctors misdiagnose breast cancer.
1) Doctors relying too much on a woman's age as a predicting factor for breast cancer.
2) Doctors relying too heavily on negative mammogram results, even if the woman has felt a lump.
3) Doctors who don't take woman
seriously when they complain of symptoms.
Early Detection is Key
Regular testing for breast cancer is the best way to spot early signs and greatly improve your chances for a full recovery. This is best achieved through monthly self exams as well as regular mammograms.
The clinical stage of breast
cancer is the best indicator for prognosis (possible outcome).
Five-year survival rates for individuals with breast cancer who
receive appropriate treatment are approximately:
85% for Stage I
66% for Stage II
41% for Stage III
10% for Stage IV
Sometimes, not all cancers are
diagnosed on time, greatly reducing the chances of a recovery.
What Should You
Misdiagnosis is not always malpractice, but you owe it to yourself and your family to know for sure. Submit your case for a free consultation. Our attorneys will help you determine whether Misdiagnosis has occurred and the viability of your case. If you or a loved one has been a victim of malpractice, legal action is not getting even. It's about placing responsibility and raising the standard of cancer care.
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