Breast cancer doesn’t leave much room for medical error: at least 40,000 women will die from this form of cancer every year, and almost all of us will know or lose someone close because of the vicious disease. Because breast cancer can be difficult to treat — there is no standardized way of doing so, even today — it can be an extremely scary situation with which to cope.
Breast cancer malpractice cases are common when doctors fail to accurately detail a patient’s family history. Genetics is an important component in not only how the cancer affects a woman, but how she might be best treated. Dependent on the results of this history, a physician might order specific kinds of blood tests used to locate certain genes known to impact the immune system’s potential to fight against the disease. Failure to do so can be catastrophic long-term.
Women are urged to routinely check their breasts for malformity or discharge. When a doctor cannot locate a lump described after a self-examination, he or she should still provide the routine care expected when the potential for cancer exists. Some fail to take this step, assuming that the patient instead shows signs of hypochondria or made a simple mistake.
Doctors or lab technicians will also sometimes misread important test results indicating the presence of cancer in a person’s body. Breast cancer is not always blatantly obvious in the ultrasounds we use to detect them, and mistakes are common in their reading.
It isn’t uncommon for our healthcare providers to misdiagnose breast cancer as something else less life-threatening, thereby increasing the chances we succumb to the other disease. Misdiagnosis can be further compounded with improperly prescribed medications that have significant side effects or even allow the cancer to grow more than it would have when left on its own.
Communication between all healthcare providers will sometimes result in failure to perform an important part of diagnosis, testing, or overall care. Many medical malpractice cases are the result of simple mistakes in the chain of communication, like failing to ask a radiologist to examine a particular part of the breast instead of the whole thing. This makes the discovery of abnormalities less likely. Failure to communicate properly can also lead to significant delays when it comes to treatment.
Who knows breasts? Our criminal lawyer Miami friend can provide you with legal expertise if your surgeon or healthcare provider is guilty of malpractice or negligence.