Breast cancer has become a scourge in recent years. It is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. Statistics indicate that approximately one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer during her lifetime and, although it is rare in men, men can also develop the disease. As with most other cancers, early detection of breast cancer is the best method to prevent metastasis (the progression of the disease to other parts of the body). While the government and a variety of health organizations have promoted the importance of self-examinations and annual mammograms, and women all over the country have responded proactively to these recommendations, misdiagnosis remains a serious problem. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, 31 percent of all breast cancer cases are misdiagnosed and mistakes are most commonly made by doctors who do not specialize in breast cancer. A misdiagnosis includes failing to properly and timely work up and diagnose breast cancer so that it can be treated as soon as possible. Earlier treatment leads to better outcomes.
If you have suffered physically, psychologically, and/or financially as a result of a breast cancer misdiagnosis, you are legally entitled to compensation for all you have gone through. If you are located in any part of Middle Tennessee, Cummings Law in Nashville is an outstanding medical malpractice firm well within reach. Our lead attorney, Brian Cummings not only has excellent credentials and a well-earned reputation for impressive courtroom skills, but he also has the empathy to support and sustain you through your ordeal.
When is a breast cancer misdiagnosis considered medical malpractice?
Misdiagnosis does not always meet the standard of medical malpractice. In order to prove medical malpractice, we must prove that your doctor’s misdiagnosis went beyond a simple mistake. We have to convince the court that not only has your doctor’s misdiagnosis resulted in personal injury — unnecessary disease progression, an otherwise worsened health condition, or unreasonable complications — but that the misdiagnosis was itself the result of negligence. In other words, we must demonstrate that your doctor did not live up to the standards of competence, attention, and care that a responsible physician should provide. Brian Cummings proved these things at trial as recently as December 2018 when he won a breast cancer case for his client for over $1,000,000.00.
Types of Misdiagnosis and Their Terrible Results
As noted, breast cancer is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions. Unfortunately, there are numerous ways in which breast cancer may be misdiagnosed:
- Your doctor dismisses a symptom you present, such as a lump on the breast, as “nothing to worry about,” or “an insect bite,” or fails to detect it during a physical examination.
- Your doctor decides to “wait and see,” for too long a period, putting you at increased risk.
- Your doctor does not prescribe further testing to verify her/his diagnosis.
- Your doctor or radiologist misinterprets test results of a mammogram, MRI, sonogram, or core needle biopsy.
- Your doctor mistakes a benign lesion for breast cancer and administers harsh, painful or disfiguring treatments for a nonexistent condition.
- Your doctor misdiagnoses the severity of your condition, perhaps mistaking one type of breast cancer for another, undertreating or overtreating as a result.
- A mammogram or other diagnostic test yields a false positive and no repeat test is done to confirm the original finding.
In worst case scenarios, which are probably the kind you are bringing to our legal team, you may have suffered unnecessary radiation, chemotherapy, or even a mastectomy or, on the other end of the spectrum, your lifespan may be significantly shortened because there was a delay in treatment.
When Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Leads to Wrongful Death
In the event that you are reaching out to Cummings Law when a misdiagnosis that has already resulted in the tragic death of a loved one, we are fully prepared to file a wrongful death suit on your behalf.
Types of Breast Cancer
There are many types of breast cancer, each with somewhat different symptoms and different prognosis. Common types of breast cancer include:
- Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS), sometimes referred to as Stage 0 or “precancer”
- Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC), of which there are many kinds
- Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)
- Inflammatory Breast Cancer, which manifests with skin changes rather than a lump
A doctor, particularly one who does not specialize in breast cancer, and therefore has limited experience with its various types, may have more difficulty distinguishing one from another. This can lead to mistakes in diagnosis and treatment. Breast cancers are sometimes misdiagnosed as benign cysts, lipomas (fatty deposits beneath the skin) or fibroids.
Damages Caused by Misdiagnosis Can Result in “Damages” Won by Cummings Law
When you have been seriously harmed by a breast cancer misdiagnosis, damage is done to your financial stability as well as your health. Reaching out to Cummings Law may be the smartest thing you’ve done relative to getting yourself and your family back on an even keel.
Brian Cummings will work hard to get you the two primary kinds of compensatory damages you deserve:
Economic damages for money you have spent or will spend as a result of your misdiagnosis, including medical and psychotherapy costs, lost wages (present and future), and nursing care, and damages for lost income and lost earning capacity
Non-economic damages to give you some reimbursement for (or at least recognition of) your intangible suffering: physical pain, emotional anguish, loss of consortium, disfigurement, loss of capacity, or loss of enjoyment of life*
*You should be aware that in Tennessee there currently is a cap of $750,000 on non-economic damages for all types of medical malpractice, except in cases of catastrophic injury when the cap is $1 million.
In rare cases, in which your doctor’s behavior was especially egregious, we may, on your behalf, make a claim for punitive damages as well.
Contact Our Nashville Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney
If you have suffered harm because of a misdiagnosis of breast cancer, bring your case to Cummings Law. We will meet with you for a free consultation to determine whether you have a viable case. If you do, we will file a medical malpractice lawsuit and use our skill and determination to bring you every bit of compensation you deserve. Get in touch with us by phone or through our website and remember: we will never charge you a fee until we win your case.