Errors in Screening and Mammograms for Breast Cancer
Around one-third of recently diagnosed breast cancers were estimated to have been visible in patients' prior mammograms. Sometimes there are errors in screening and mammograms for breast cancer, and these errors may result in devastating harm. A radiologist may have totally missed the cancer or misinterpreted it as benign. If you faced a delay in diagnosis or a failure to diagnose breast cancer, and you were harmed as a result, you likely can sue for medical malpractice. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our Syracuse cancer malpractice lawyers may be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf.Errors in Screening and Mammograms for Breast Cancer
There are professional standards for the interpretation of mammograms and other screening tools for breast cancer. Generally, it is important for a radiologist to pay close attention to subtle features of malignancy. They should obtain an adequate diagnostic work up, including spot compression views, magnification views, or an ultrasound. When a finding catches the attention of the radiologist, they should look at several prior mammograms to determine whether there has been a subtle developing change. If there is asymmetry, it may be appropriate to do a tissue diagnosis. The technician should be careful about positioning the patient and other aspects of the exam. Generally, when a pathology result obtained from a biopsy does not explain a finding from the imaging, it is warranted to do a repeat core biopsy or surgical excision.
When breast cancer is caught early, there are good survival rates. However, errors in screening can result in delays in diagnosis or a failure to diagnose until the cancer has spread and requires more aggressive treatment or is no longer treatable. The survival rate drops significantly at each stage of cancer. A failure to catch breast cancer early can result in a wrongful death. The American Cancer Society has found that stage 1 breast cancer has a 5-year survival rate of 100%. Stage 2 has a 5-year survival rate of 93%. Stage 3 has a 5-year survival rate of 72%. Stage 4 has a 5-year survival rate of 22%.
Regular breast cancer screening is crucial, especially if there are risk factors such as a prior history of cancer, a family history of cancer, obesity, alcohol abuse, or age. Failures to diagnose breast cancer cause many deaths and permanent injuries each year. It is important to make doctors and other health care providers aware of your risk factors for breast cancer. However, sometimes radiologists, general practitioners, and oncologists make errors in screening and mammograms, resulting in a worsening of the cancer or even death. To hold a health care provider accountable for a failure to diagnose, a delay in diagnosing, or a misdiagnosis, your injury lawyer will need to establish the elements of medical malpractice.
They must prove by a preponderance of the evidence each of the following points: (1) a doctor-patient relationship, (2) the defendant's breach of the professional duty of care, (3) actual and proximate causation, and (4) actual damages. Errors in screening and mammograms for breast cancer may constitute a breach of the professional standard of care. Usually, your lawyer will need to retain an experienced and credible expert to evaluate those errors and determine whether they fell below the professional standard of care. The expert will also need to opine on whether the error caused actual damages. If you were at stage 4, and nothing could have been done to treat you, you may not be able to recover damages. However, each case is unique, and it is important to consult with experts to determine whether the elements of medical malpractice can be shown in your case.Hire a Knowledgeable Syracuse Attorney for a Health Care Negligence Case
If you have been injured because of errors in screening or mammograms for breast cancer, our attorneys may be able to help you obtain damages from the responsible health care providers. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents patients in cities such as Rochester, Syracuse, Lyons, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Oswego, Canandaigua, Utica, Wampsville, Oneida, Lowville, Watertown, Herkimer, Delhi, Cortland, Norwich, Elmira, Auburn, and Binghamton. Call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.