Misreading of Mammograms
Radiologists play a significant role when it comes to diagnosing cancer. They analyze imaging studies to determine if a patient has a suspicious lesion or there are other indications of cancer.
Errors in performing radiology procedures, interpretation of results, and diagnosis can have devastating effects on patients.
The vast majority of women, especially those over the age of 40, need to understand the need of getting yearly mammography to detect early signs of breast cancer so it can be timely diagnosed and treated. The potential benefits of early detection can be nullified by the possibility of a false positive result due to a radiological error in the actual testing or a misread mammography by the radiologist. Failure to follow up with the patient by ordering additional tests like a breast X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, or biopsy if the test suggests possible early warning signals of cancer could also contribute to unnecessary delays in identifying breast cancer.
When used correctly, mammography can alert clinicians to the presence of breast cancer or other abnormalities in the breast tissue. The growth and spread of malignant tissue can become untreatable if doctors miss these warnings or don't act appropriately when they do.
Denser than usual breasts are one of the factors that can make it harder to detect cancer on mammograms. One unfortunate contributing factor is the wide range in proficiency among general radiologists when it comes to interpreting mammograms. Most tumors that are missed are detectable on mammograms but are either overlooked or incorrectly classified as noncancerous. Fatigue, inattention, and the lack of radiologic experience play a role in breast cancer not being timely detected by a radiologist. Missing cancer on a mammography screening is unacceptable under any circumstances.
Cancer of the breast is usually treatable provided it is diagnosed early. There are estimated 3.5 million living breast cancer survivors in the United States in 2021, according to the American Cancer Society. Although early detection is crucial to a breast cancer patient’s chance of survival, a misdiagnosis can have devastating effects. Late-stage breast cancer diagnosis dramatically raises mortality rates. If breast cancer is caught early and treated quickly, survival rates are high. When diagnosed at Stage I, the prognosis for the next five years is excellent. The numbers get more frightening the further apart they are. When discovered at stage IV, 5-year survival chances plummet to 28%. Early screening and education have led to a 44% increase in stage I diagnoses and a 5% decrease in stage IV diagnoses.
Radiologists have a moral and ethical obligation to meticulously examine mammography readouts and provide patients with reliable information. If the results of a mammogram leave any uncertainty as to the patient's diagnosis, the treating physician has a duty to order further testing.
If you or a loved one sustain injury or harm because of the misreading of a mammogram, our law firm may be able to help you recover damages. It is important to hire an attorney who is experienced in medical malpractice claims and who works with credible experts. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represent injured clients and their families throughout Upstate New York, including Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Elmira, Binghamton, Auburn, Ithaca, Oswego, Norwich, Herkimer, Delhi, Cooperstown, Cortland, Lowville, Oneida, Watertown, Utica, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Lyons, and surrounding areas. Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form to discuss your case.