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Treatment Options for Breast Cancer

Syracuse Lawyers Helping Medical Malpractice Victims

Doctors have different treatment options for breast cancer. The type of breast cancer and the degree of spread will determine the potential treatment recommendations and decisions. In some situations, the physician may treat cancer with a combination of therapies. Patients diagnosed with breast cancer trust their oncologist to provide competent care. Unfortunately, oncologists, surgeons and other health care providers do make mistakes that can cut their patients’ lives short or necessitate more expensive care. If you are concerned that a doctor recommended treatment options for breast cancer that resulted in your injuries or a loved one’s death, you should discuss your situation with an experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorney.

Treatment Options for Breast Cancer

Your physician will prepare a treatment plan based on a range of factors, in addition to the stage of the disease. There are five stages of cancer. Stage 0 is the first point at which breast cancer could be diagnosed. Other factors that could affect a reasonable doctor’s treatment decision for breast cancer include how big the tumor is in relation the breast, overall health, age, family history, menopause, and specific test results.

Treatments may be more conservative, but they can also include clinical trials, which carry more risk. Often, women with noninvasive breast cancer at stage I or II have a lumpectomy and radiation therapy. Certain women over age 70 whose breast cancer is diagnosed early may be able to skip radiation therapy. Your physician may be able to remove the cancer or tumor through surgery during the earlier stages of cancer, even at stage III, in which case, surgery may be combined with additional treatments, such as chemotherapy and adjuvant or neoadjuvant therapy. In certain cases, the surgeon will perform a mastectomy to remove the entire breast. Some women may choose to have a mastectomy even though the cancer was caught early to prevent the reoccurrence of breast cancer. Lymph nodes may also be removed at either stage II or III of breast cancer. In some cases, the patient may have a choice between a mastectomy and a treatment that conserves the breast along with radiotherapy. Other therapies include hormone therapy, targeted therapy, and chemotherapy.

Liability for Medical Malpractice

Not every mistake made in connection with treatment of breast cancer constitutes medical malpractice. Your lawyer needs to consult with an expert even before filing suit to determine whether your case is meritorious. In a lawsuit for medical malpractice, you will need to establish: (1) the defendant owed you a professional standard of care, (2) deviation from the professional standard of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages.

An expert will determine the professional standard of care by looking at what other reasonably competent doctors in the same specialty in Syracuse would do when faced with a particular patient. For instance, if a reasonably competent Syracuse oncologist would have recommended a mastectomy to a patient with early-stage breast cancer considering a family history of cancer, but your oncologist opted for a mild treatment which resulted in your cancer progressing and becoming harder to treat, the doctor may have committed medical malpractice. For another example, if a reasonably competent Syracuse oncologist would have aggressively treated your mother’s stage 4 cancer, but her oncologist chose a milder treatment that resulted in her death, you may be able to pursue wrongful death damages.

Sometimes different types of doctors work together to develop a treatment plan for breast cancer. These doctors could include a breast surgeon, a radiation oncologist, a medical oncologist, and a plastic surgeon. An expert would look closely at your medical team’s conduct and decision-making to determine whether different care determinations should have been made. One or more defendants in the case may argue that the breast cancer would have progressed anyway. This is why it’s so critical to retain an attorney who works with a highly reputable expert that is good at explaining technical information to the jury in layperson’s terms.

Consult an Experienced Syracuse Lawyer

If you were not properly advised on treatment options for breast cancer in Syracuse, you should talk to our seasoned attorneys about whether you have grounds to sue. We represent patients and their families across upstate New York in Syracuse, Rochester, Watertown, Lowville, Oswego, Auburn, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Ithaca, Lyons, Oneida, Cooperstown, Utica, Elmira, Herkimer, and Binghamton. Complete DeFrancisco & Falgiatano’s online form or call us at 315-479-9000.

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