Misdiagnosis of breast cancer can occur due to negligence. It can lead to dangerous invasive treatments in patients with no cancer and can risk the life of patients that have cancers.
What is Breast Cancer?
As you can tell by the name, it is a type of cancer that starts in the breast cells. Cancers are abnormally growing cells that form a tumour. The cells in the breast grow out of control and unchecked. There are several kinds of breast cancers recorded. The type usually depends upon the area of the breast that it affects.
It can be at one place called benign cancer or may move and infect other parts of the body as well. Women over the age of 40 have a higher risk of getting breast cancers.
Signs and Symptoms
You can diagnose your breasts yourself for any lumps or any abnormal symptoms. Self-examination is the key to early diagnosis and treatment at an early stage. Some of the symptoms may include:
- Irritation or redness in the breast area
- An abnormal change in the size and shape of the breast
- Fluid or blood discharge from nipples
- Nipple turning inwards
- Feeling a lump or lumps
- Nipple or breast pain
- Dimpling of the skin in certain areas
How Often Is Breast Cancer Misdiagnosed?
According to many sources and studies, half of the cases with precancerous cells weren’t even diagnosed. About one-third of the cases get falsely declared as not dangerous. Many times, people don’t even have breast cancers.
Why Does It Occur?
The most common cause is the negligence of the medical crew in the diagnosis. It can be a radiation specialist, a physical therapist or a doctor. Cancers are very hard to cure and have extensive treatment. Any kind of negligence or medical malpractice can actually risk the life of the patient as the more time it remains undiagnosed the more difficult it is to treat. Some causes are:
- Failure to screen for breast cancer
- Failing to detect cancer cells during mammograms
- Improper treatment and follow-ups after a positive test
- Misreading or misinterpreting the results of CT scan, MRI, Mammogram or X-ray
- Not conducting biopsy at the right time
Limitations of Mammograms
Mammograms are great screening tests for breast cancer diagnosis. However, they are not always correct. There are some limitations of mammograms and they aren’t always accurate.
About 1 in every 5 tests that are conducted of mammograms falsely diagnose negative. The false-negative diagnosis gives patients a sense of relaxation and they do not follow up with further testing and their cancer becomes dangerous and difficult to treat.
Sometimes for a lot of reasons, your mammogram can show false-positive results. This leads to improper and false treatments even though there is no cancer present.
Seek A Second Opinion
People often second guess their diagnosis. If you feel like you have been misdiagnosed, it is always a good option to go for a second opinion. Get yourself checked to another doctor and your doubts would be cleared.
If you or any of the people you know have been misdiagnosed with cancer, you can seek help from medical negligence specialists. You can consult the respective attorney for medical malpractice to find out if you have a legal case or not.