Liability from Misdiagnosed Breach Cancer Cases
Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers worldwide. Unfortunately, misdiagnosed breast cancer is also common. In the United States, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. According to the American Cancer Society, the average yearly diagnosis rate for this cancer is 276,480. In fact, in Oregon alone there is an average of 25,000 new cases of breast cancer every year. The five year survival rate for this type of cancer is 90%, but depends greatly on the following factors, including:
- Size of the tumor
- Stage at diagnosis
- If lymph nodes are involved
- Hormone-receptor status of the cancer
- If the tumor is estrogen-negative, HER-2 negative and progesterone-negative, this is considered triple negative breast cancer which is very aggressive
- Health of the patient
- Comorbidities at diagnosis
- Sub-type of breast cancer the patient has
- Menopausal status
- HER-2 status
- Mutational status of the tumor (i.e. BRCA1 or BRCA2)
This is why a misdiagnosed breast cancer case can be very serious and devastating. It can result in serious personal injuries and even the wrongful death of an innocent person. Any type of malignant disease can result in this type of serious injury, but especially this one. The damages cane significant for family and friends too, resulting in catastrophic harm.
Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
Breast cancer can be detected in a variety of ways, but often is diagnosed on a routine screening mammogram. Women 40-55 should have screening mammograms done yearly, while women age 55 and above can have their mammograms performed every 2 years. If a person is at a higher risk for developing breast cancer (i.e. known BRCA mutation or strong family history), the screening schedule and process may be different. If the screening mammogram is abnormal, further tests should be performed such as an MRI or ultrasound guided biopsy. A biopsy should always be performed if there is a suspicious area on imaging. A biopsy can confirm the presence of breast cancer.
If found to be malignant (cancerous), the physician could order surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy or radiation. Patients may receive all, or only some of these therapies.
How Can Breast Can Misdiagnosis Be Due to Medical Malpractice?
For a standard risk breast cancer patient, if diagnosed in a timely manner they could have an overall survival rate of 90%. Unfortunately, when diagnosis is delayed, this can greatly impact their overall survival rate. Examples as to how a breast cancer misdiagnosis can be due to medical malpractice includes the following:
- Failing to conduct screening mammograms – While a patient can choose to forgo screening exams, if a provider does not educate the patient or order the screening exam, this can be seen as medical malpractice
- If a provider receives concerning results from a screening mammogram but does not order further testing
- If a radiologist misinterprets imaging, believing the tumor is benign when it is malignant
- If a pathologist misinterprets the tumor as benign, leading to a delay in diagnosis
- Failing to order a biopsy in the presence of a concerning finding
- Failing to order staging scans in the presence of a breast cancer diagnosis, possibly leading to missing sites of metastatic disease.
- Pathological misinterpretation of the tumor as being in an early stage than it truly is (i.e. carcinoma in situ). This can be a big error as it can alter the way the physician may treat the patient
Ask our Misdiagnosed Breach Cancer Lawyer for Help in Oregon
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.