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Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis

Medical Malpractice Lawyers Serving Syracuse Residents

When you go to see your doctor with fears that you may have breast cancer, you expect to be treated by a competent professional. You are likely in search of answers, a diagnosis, and a course of treatment. Sometimes people go to see their doctors and don't receive appropriate screenings and tests. In other cases, a doctor may misdiagnose symptoms or fail to follow up with the appropriate treatment. If you believe you've been harmed by a misdiagnosis related to breast cancer, the experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano can assess your case.

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer begins when cells start to grow uncontrollably in an area of the breast. Most breast cancer starts in the milk ducts of the nipple. However, others begin in glands that make breast milk. There are other cancers that start elsewhere. Often this uncontrollable cell growth results in a tumor. The tumor may be benign or malignant and cancerous. It becomes malignant where cells can invade surrounding areas and metastasize to further regions of the body, sometimes through the lymph system and sometimes through blood.

Not all breast cancer starts with a lump, and sometimes breast cancer is detected on a screening mammogram that finds cancer at a stage prior to its being felt. Most of the time, women are the ones who get breast cancer. However, it is possible for men to get breast cancer. A heath care provider should examine any lump or change in the breast.

Failure to Diagnose & Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis

Early detection of breast cancer is essential to a good outcome. Failure to diagnose breast cancer may be because of a failure to conduct the appropriate tests, misinterpretation of a mammogram or an inappropriate differential diagnosis. When caught early enough breast cancer is curable; if breast cancer is only caught in later stages, the risk of death is hugely increased. It's the second leading cause of death by cancer in women, but many deaths can be avoided through proper and timely diagnosis.

If you were harmed by a failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis, you may be able to recover damages through a medical malpractice action by proving: (1) a physician-patient relationship, (2) failure to meet the professional duty of care, (3) actual and proximate causation, and (4) actual damages. A skilled medical negligence lawyer can help evaluate whether your case will meet these elements. Sometimes a failure to meet the professional duty of care involves a doctor ignoring warning signs of breast cancer and not ordering the appropriate tests. In other situations, a patient may locate a lump while self-examining but be told by her doctor that it doesn't merit testing. A doctor's failure to pay attention to your complaints, failure to identify a lump during an examination, failure to order a biopsy or ultrasound, or failing to follow up with a patient after tests have been ordered can result in a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose breast cancer that falls below the professional duty of care.


Damages are usually compensatory in medical malpractice cases. They may include coverage for economic losses such as medical bills, nursing costs, prescription drug costs, lost wages, and replacement services. They may also include noneconomic losses such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment. When a loved one dies as a result of a breast cancer misdiagnosis, wrongful death damages may be available. Only when a healthcare provider's conduct is truly egregious will punitive damages be a possibility. These are damages intended to punish the defendant and deter future similar misconduct.

Syracuse Attorneys Representing Medical Malpractice Victims

A failure to diagnose or breast cancer misdiagnosis can cause serious harm to a patient, and can even cost them life itself. If you were harmed by a failure to diagnose of this nature, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents injured patients in Syracuse, Rochester, Elmira, Binghamton, Ithaca, Auburn, Cooperstown, Oswego, Norwich, Delhi, Cortland, Oneida, Lowville, Herkimer, Watertown, Oswego, Wampsville, Canandaigua, Utica, Cooperstown, and Lyons. Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form to discuss your claims.

Client Reviews
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY