An estimated one in eight women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. Breast cancer is common in the US and throughout the world. Women who receive an early diagnosis of breast cancer can begin treatment when the disease is still in its early stages. Early treatment leads to better outcomes. A delayed diagnosis of breast cancer could allow the cancer to metastasize to other parts of the body.
There are cases where women (and men) with breast cancer receive a delayed diagnosis. Possible reasons for a delayed diagnosis of breast cancer include but are not limited to:
- Failing to recognize symptoms. Breast cancer may have early symptoms that are recognizable. Patients may not receive a timely diagnosis if these symptoms are not recognized by their physicians.
- Failing to order a mammogram. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. This imaging test could allow radiologists to spot abnormalities in breast tissue. While a mammogram by itself cannot diagnose breast cancer, it can lead doctors to order additional diagnostic tests that could lead to an accurate diagnosis (such as a biopsy).
- Misinterpreting a mammogram. If a mammogram is not interpreted correctly, then a patient with breast cancer may receive an incorrect diagnosis.
- Failing to order a biopsy. Biopsies allow doctors to determine whether abnormal cells are present in tissue. If a mass is detected by imaging tests and a biopsy is not performed, then a patient may not receive a timely diagnosis.
Delayed Diagnosis of Breast Cancer? Call Our Washington DC Medical Malpractice Law Firm
Multiple health professionals are required to make an accurate breast cancer diagnosis. If you or a loved one received an incorrect breast cancer diagnosis, then one or more parties may be responsible. For example, the radiologist who performed an initial mammogram could be responsible for the error.
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a claim for damages against these parties. The Washington DC medical negligence lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC could help you determine whether malpractice occurred. Our Washington DC medical malpractice law firm has helped clients recover compensation for diagnostic errors.