Early diagnosis of breast cancer increases a patient’s chance of responding to treatment successfully. But, when the cancer is not detected early, the patient could have a lower rate of survival. Even if a patient survives after a delayed diagnosis, their quality of life could also suffer.
As recently as December 2018, Cummings Law won at jury trial in a wrongful death, breast cancer malpractice case. That client got the help they needed from one of the few attorneys who could deliver it. That attorney was Brian Cummings. Therefore, you should make the same great choice.
While breast cancer detection has improved, medical errors and negligence can still result in a delayed diagnosed. If a doctor fails to diagnose the cancer in its early stages, they could be guilty of medical malpractice.
Below, our Tennessee breast cancer misdiagnosis attorney discusses how medical errors and negligence can lead to a misdiagnosis. If you believe your doctor’s negligence caused a delayed diagnosis, contact a Tennessee breast cancer misdiagnosis attorney to discuss your options.
How is breast cancer misdiagnosed?
There are several reasons why a doctor may not discover breast cancer until it is in a later stage. Delayed or misdiagnosis of cancer occurs for several reasons, including:
- The symptoms of cancer vary, and a doctor may not correctly associate a patient’s symptoms with breast cancer.
- The doctor fails to perform a proper physical examination, review the patient’s medical history, and discuss the patient’s symptoms with the patient.
- A doctor fails to order adequate diagnostic tests.
- A physician fails to refer the patient to a specialist or facility for testing and examination.
- Incorrect interpretation of test results.
- A doctor failed to follow up on a test result that showed an abnormality or was inadequate.
- The doctor misdiagnosed breast cancer as another illness and began treating that illness instead of the cancer.
Another common reason for a delayed diagnosis of breast cancer is faulty mammograms. For that reason, many malpractice lawsuits are filed against radiologists because of a delayed or missed diagnosis of breast cancer.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for Delayed Diagnosis
As with other medical malpractice lawsuits, you must prove the elements of malpractice. Medical negligence and medical errors do not always rise to malpractice. You must also prove that you suffered an injury due to the negligence to recover compensation.
In a delayed diagnosis claim, you need to prove the four elements of malpractice, which are:
- A physician-patient relationship existed which created a duty of care;
- The physician breached the duty of care by failing to provide services that met or exceeded the medical standard of care;
- The breach was a direct and proximate cause of your injury or harm; and,
- You sustained damages as a result of the harm or injury.
Contact a Tennessee Medical Malpractice Attorney for More Information
A delayed diagnosis of breast cancer can result in more aggressive treatments, such as chemotherapy and mastectomy. In some cases, it may result in death. Proving that a doctor’s negligence or error rises to the level of malpractice is complex. For instance, a malpractice lawsuit requires medical experts to establish the medical standard of care to see whether or not the doctor breached it in their practice.
If you believe that your doctor committed malpractice, contact a Tennessee medical malpractice attorney immediately. An attorney can help you take the steps necessary to obtain opinions from medical experts that are necessary to prove a malpractice claim.
Posted in: Cancer Misdiagnosis