- Breast cancer is
the most common type of cancer in women in the U.S.
- 1 out of 9 women
in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
- Breast cancer is
the 2nd leading cause of death for all women and the leading cause of
death in women ages 40-55.
- About 85% of
women whose breast cancer is detected before it has spread to
the axillary nodes will survive at least 5 years.
- Delay in
diagnosis of breast cancer is the #1 basis for medical malpractice
lawsuits in the U.S.
The probability that breast cancer will recur in a
patient is directly related to the stage of the malignancy. If
breast cancer is detected and addressed before the cancer has spread to
any lymph nodes, the chances of survival are significantly better than
otherwise. Any undue delay in diagnosing or treating breast cancer
can have devastating consequences. Unfortunately, too often
obvious warning signs are ignored and/or precautionary measures are not
taken. The following are among the more common forms of negligence
by physicians in diagnosing and/or treating breast cancer:
- Failing to perform a breast examination
(during a physical or while treating patient for certain other
reasons) which would have identified a clinically obvious
- Failing to identify a palpable lump
during a breast examination;
- Mistaking a tumor for a breast infection;
- Mistaking a tumor as benign and failing
to recommend biopsy or removal;
- Disregarding history of sharp pain in
- Disregarding signs of retraction;
- Failing to determine the cause of nipple
- Relying upon negative aspiration biopsy;
- Relying upon mammography in lieu of physical breast examination;
- Failing to order a mammogram;
- Misinterpreting a mammogram;
- Failing to react to mammogram findings;
- Failing to order additional radiological
- Failing to order a biopsy;
- Failing to order ultrasound when
- Failing to follow-up with the patient.
Please keep in
mind that the foregoing are merely examples, and are by no means intended
as an exhaustive list of failures that may result in delayed diagnosis of
breast cancer. Anyone who believes that a physician's failure to
timely diagnose breast cancer may have resulted in loss of treatment
options and/or loss of chance of survival should be encouraged to consult
an attorney as soon as possible in order to preserve and protect their