October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. It is important to perform cancer screenings including self-examination, manual examinations performed by your healthcare providers, and, at a certain age or if your family history warrants it, to get an annual mammogram. It is also important that your healthcare providers adequately consult with you and provide you with information about your options if there are abnormalities or suspicious findings in your test results, or if you or they feel a lump or notice any breast abnormality during examinations.
Early detection is key to surviving breast cancer, making breast cancer misdiagnosis potentially life threatening. Victims of failed diagnosis or misdiagnosis often continue for prolonged periods without receiving the treatment they require. That delay in receiving treatment allows the disease process to continue and worsens a patient’s prognosis or chances of survival.
The goal of adequate screenings is to find cancers before they spread, grow and cause a worsened prognosis and/or cause a need for more extensive treatment.
Breast cancer misdiagnosis can also occur when a healthcare provider fails to recognize clinical signs or symptoms which could indicate the presence of breast cancer. These signs and symptoms include but are not limited to a suspicious mass or lump, breast pain, breast reddening and swelling, nipple discharge and retraction of the skin. When a healthcare provider is aware of these types of symptoms and fails to timely order appropriate tests, it could affect the timing of the cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Victims of breast cancer misdiagnosis who have been harmed by their healthcare provider’s negligence may pursue financial compensation for their losses. A medical malpractice claim for misdiagnosis may result in securing economic support to pay medical bills, lost earning ability, actual lost income, pain and suffering and other related damages.
Failure to accurately diagnose and treat cancer in a timely fashion is a form of medical malpractice that can have significant consequences for patients. If you believe you have suffered as a result of cancer misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, it is important that you contact a New Jersey law firm that has extensive experience handling medical malpractice cases relating to cancer misdiagnosis. A knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer can help preserve your rights and assist you in pursuing compensation for your losses.