Cancer is a silent killer; a genetic mutation that occurs in the cells of our own bodies that can end up becoming a widespread disease that overtakes healthy cells and cause death. Cancer symptoms can manifest in a variety of ways and may cause symptoms that are seemingly unrelated to cancer, leading patients and doctors down paths away from a correct diagnosis. That’s why it is important for doctors to consider the possibility of cancer and not dismiss the possibility prematurely. Some studies have shown that roughly five percent of patients that seek treatment for any medical condition annually will be misdiagnosed, while others have found that misdiagnoses contribute to roughly 10 percent of patient deaths, numbers that highlight the surprising regularity of misdiagnoses generally.
Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis in Pittsburgh, PA
Not all misdiagnoses are created equal. Missing a cancer diagnosis, the first time around can literally be the difference between life and death. Cancer takes many different forms, with each form having particular characteristics. Some respond better to chemotherapy than others. Some can only be treated with surgery. Some are slow to develop, others are incredibly aggressive. Breast cancer can be very aggressive and failing to diagnosis it quickly can be deadly.
Diagnosing Breast Cancer in Butler, PA
In order to properly diagnose breast cancer, a biopsy must be done. Typically, before reaching that point, some change in the breast is noticed that triggers a mammogram, or something abnormal is found on a regularly scheduled mammogram that gives the impression that cancer may be present. The only way to be absolutely certain that no cancer is present is to have a biopsy completed. If your doctor tells you that your follow-up exam leads him or her to believe there is no cancer and that a biopsy is not necessary, do not hesitate to seek a second opinion.
What is a Biopsy?
A biopsy is a sample of the cells in the questionable area of the breast that is examined by pathologist, who is trained to identify cancerous cells in tissue samples. Biopsies can be done in several different ways, the most common of which uses a needle to withdraw cell samples from the area identified by the mammogram. In other situations, surgery is necessary to conduct the biopsy. Regardless of how they are obtained, the biopsy will reveal whether cancer is present and if present, what type of cancer it is. This will inform the treatment options presented to the patient. However, because the analysis of the biopsy is performed by a human, mistakes happen, meaning that even at the biopsy stage misdiagnoses can occur.
When a Misdiagnosis Occurs in Washington, PA
If you were incorrectly diagnosed as cancer-free and later it was determined that you did indeed have breast cancer, the emotional devastation can be overwhelming. Beginning treatment as soon as possible is crucial but allowing an experienced medical malpractice attorney to review your case can provide you with answers regarding whether your cancer could have and should have been diagnosed earlier in time, and help you understand that you do have rights and deserve to be compensated.
Contact a Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Case in Pennsylvania
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with breast cancer and think your cancer should have been diagnosed sooner, then you may have a breast cancer misdiagnosis malpractice case in Pennsylvania? If so, you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice attorneys at Matzus Law are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent medical care by surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, Butler, Cranberry Township, and Greensburg. Call us today at (412) 206-5300 or email us to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 310 Grant Street, Suite 3210, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.