For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Learn More About Medical Malpractice for Cancer Patients
Get all dolled up in your best pink attire – it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Breast cancer impacts one out of every eight women, according to BreastCancer.org, and over 40,000 women are expected to die from breast cancer in 2020. Along with wearing pink to show you support for survivors and donating to your favorite cancer organizations, you can also support friends or loved ones by knowing about breast cancer prevention, especially why a failure to diagnose can be such a deadly error.
Diagnosing Breast Cancer
Many women are able to discover the warnings signs by themselves or by seeing their doctor on a regular basis. Breast cancer can also be detected through a procedure called a mammogram, which is an x-ray of the breast. When breast cancer is discovered in its earliest stages, aggressive treatment contributes to a higher survival rate. Breast cancer is commonly treated through chemotherapy or a procedure called a mastectomy, during which all or part of the breast is removed. When it is treated before it spreads to other parts of the body, there is about a 99% of five-year survival. This is very impressive when compared to the only 27% chance of five year survival when the cancer spreads to other areas of the body.
What is a Failure to Diagnose?
These statistics show why an early diagnosis is so important—and why a doctor’s failure to promptly diagnose breast cancer can have serious consequences. Failure to diagnose occurs when a doctor fails or neglects to recognize a patient’s illness or misdiagnoses their illness. When this happens, it can lead to a delay in treatment or even a total lack of treatment. Since failure to diagnose has such life-threatening implications, it falls under the umbrella of medical malpractice.
Is it Medical Malpractice?
For a patient with cancer, a doctor’s behavior might be considered medical malpractice if they:
- Dismiss the patient’s symptoms or mistake their symptoms for another illness
- Fail to properly perform routine tests, like mammograms
- Misread tests, scans, or other results that should have shown the patient’s cancer
- Do not diagnose the cancer at all
For a serious disease like cancer, a failure to diagnose can have massive consequences. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, make sure you educate yourself and your loved ones on the dangers of medical malpractice, and stay informed during your next doctor’s visit. If you think you or a loved one experienced a failure to diagnose, an experience medical malpractice attorney may be able to help.
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