New Research Discovers Breast Biopsies Often Misdiagnosed

breast cancer malpractice

Breast cancer is among the most common malignancies affecting women; breast cancer misdiagnosis is a common source of medical malpractice claims.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. In the United States, there are over 2.9 million survivors who have survived breast cancer. The lifetime probability of a woman developing breast cancer is about 12 percent and the probability that a woman will die of breast cancer is 1 in 36. Women over the age of 50 are at the highest risk of developing breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Survival Rates and Misdiagnosis

Breast cancer is not always a fatal illness and timely diagnosis and treatment generally improves the survival rate. Depending on the stage at which it is discovered, with proper treatment, a woman can survive for years without any symptoms. However, in some unfortunate cases, a doctor’s failure to diagnose the condition in time increases the risk for the patient.

Misdiagnosis and Unnecessary Treatments

There is another type of medical malpractice that can occur. A doctor may misdiagnose the condition and administer unnecessary treatment based on a wrong diagnosis. A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association has revealed a situation that needs attention.

In an analysis of the diagnoses of breast tissue biopsies from 155 different pathologists and 240 samples, it was found that doctors may be regularly misdiagnosing the biopsies. The diagnoses, when compared to those of three medical experts, shows that pathologists have difficulty in agreeing on diagnoses of precancerous conditions. This may mean that a patient will receive unnecessary treatment for a condition that she does not have or does not get enough treatment for a condition she actually has.

Difficulties Diagnosing Abnormalities

Pathologists analyze breast tissue biopsies based on the findings of suspicious tissue growths revealed by mammogram, which is the standard imaging test used for diagnosing abnormalities in breast tissue. However, this often leads to a misdiagnosis. In almost 50 percent of the cases involving diagnosis of a precancerous condition, failure to diagnose correctly was the key problem.

The study also showed that pathologists had problems diagnosing DCIS, a condition involving irregular cell growth in milk ducts. 13 percent of the cases in which the patients actually had DCIS were misdiagnosed, and in some cases, doctors were made to believe that the patient had a condition that is less serious than DCIS. The study suggests that of the 160,000 American women diagnosed with breast cancer every year, many could be potentially receiving a medical treatment regime that is more or less serious that what is required.

Compensation for Misdiagnosis of Breast Cancer

A victim of such misdiagnosis may claim compensation from the negligent healthcare provider. Compensation can include medical expenses, care costs, pain and suffering, and other damages arising out of the misdiagnosis. If you have experienced a misdiagnosis of breast cancer, contact a medical negligence attorneys at Zevan and Davidson. We can evaluate your case free of charge and help you understand what your legal rights are.

Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.


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