Breast Cancer: Medical Misdiagnosis, Missed Diagnosis

Posted on October 21st, 2020 in Personal Injury

Did you know that there is a 1 in 8 chance that a woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime? While 13% does not seem like a high percentage, the reality is that breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in females across the country. While medical technology continues to improve, many women deal with breast cancer misdiagnosis, due to practitioner error, testing flaws, and simple negligence. This type of carelessness leads to late discovery and, in turn, lower survival rates. This October as we recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we at Kalinoski Law Offices want to offer legal solutions for those women and their families who experience medical misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis.

Misdiagnosis vs. Missed Diagnosis

While both medical misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis may sound similar and fall under medical malpractice law in Pennsylvania, the two are actually different.

Misdiagnosis occurs where your symptoms are mistaken for something else, leading to an incorrect diagnosis. This leads to longer recovery and sometimes, death. A missed diagnosis occurs when a doctor should have been able to make a proper diagnosis but does not. In these cases, no treatment is given.

In general, most breast cancer-related medical malpractice cases are a result of misdiagnosis as only 50% of cases are diagnosed correctly. This means that some women may have breast cancer and not even know it because of the complexity of pathology or women are led to believe they have breast cancer when in reality it is not.

For example, some women who receive mammograms may show signs of abnormal cells, receive plans for invasive breast cancer and in reality, have a rare condition known as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). DCIS pertains to cells that line the milk ducts of the breast that have become cancerous but have not spread into surrounding breast tissue. DCIS is considered non-invasive or pre-invasive breast cancer that requires a different method of treatment for other forms of breast cancer.

Other forms of breast cancer misdiagnosis include:

  • Misreading an x-ray, MRI, ultrasound, CT scan, or mammogram
  • Failing to screen for breast cancer
  • Improper treatment for breast cancer
  • Failing to follow up with a patient about a test result
  • Failing to discover cancerous cells
  • Waiting too long to conduct a biopsy
  • Misdiagnosing as a benign breast cyst, blocked milk duct, or fibroadenoma

Not only is a breast cancer diagnosis critical in women early on, but men can also become diagnosed with breast cancer, though less likely. In general, men diagnosed with breast cancer early on have a 5-year survival rate of 84%. But when not caught on time, the results can be deadly.

Damages for Breast Cancer-Related Medical Malpractice

If you are a victim of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of earning capacity

In addition, depending on the negligent actions of the medical provider, you may be able to hold them legally liable for their actions.

Scranton Medical Malpractice Attorney: Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis, Missed Diagnosis

Any time you are being screened for cancer, be it due to family history or abnormal test results, you are justified in being worried about the diagnosis and form of treatment you may be up against.

But when you believe your medical provider did not do everything in their power to get you properly diagnosed and get you on the path to recovery and treatment, you may have a case. If you believe you have a medical malpractice claim, contact Attorney Craig Kalinoski today at (570) 207-4000 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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