Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis or Late Diagnosis
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Knowledgeable attorneys with extensive experience in prosecuting failure to timely diagnose breast cancer cases
Breast cancer, according to CDC statistics, ranks as the most common cause of cancer among women in the United States, as well as being one of the leading causes of cancer death among women of all races. While it is an insidious disease, if caught and properly diagnosed in its earliest stages, it is treatable. However, if improperly diagnosed and left untreated, breast cancer becomes a highly malignant disease that all too often devastates a woman’s life, as well as her body.
A breast cancer diagnosis has the ability to rip apart a woman’s self-esteem and stability. It can often sound a death-knell for a majority of patients unfortunate enough to hear that life-threatening pronouncement, as it more often than not, signals the death of hopes and the deferment of dreams. Consequently, when a doctor alleviates a patient’s fears by reassuring them that their concerns are unfounded, the patient generally carries on with their lives, resting their reliance solely on the doctor’s purported knowledge and expertise – until the symptoms worsen and become so pronounced that they can no longer be ignored and are finally correctly diagnosed. Unfortunately, in a number of instances, by then it is impossible to save the patient’s life, let alone her breast.
Over the past four decades, the lawyers of the Malpractice Law Firm Jack H. Olender & Associates, P.C. have dealt with numerous instances of breast cancer misdiagnoses or late diagnosis, some of which have led to the untimely deaths of our clients. At such a tragic time, our medical malpractice lawyers have worked compassionately with the families of our clients and fought diligently to prosecute such cases on behalf of our clients and their families who are left to carry on without the help and support of their loved ones. Prosecuting such cases requires the skill and expertise of a firm familiar with the medical standard of care in these cases and identifying and proving inappropriate treatment and diagnostic failure. The Olender firm is dedicated to helping our clients prove these cases and pursue the full and just compensation that will allow them to move forward. The Olender law firm has the extra distinct advantage of employing a doctor/lawyer and nurse/lawyer to help us screen and prepare the case and point us in the right direction.
Elements which prevent a failure to timely diagnose
In breast cancer, as with most major diseases, a timely diagnosis is key to preventing further destruction of a woman’s body. If left untreated, the cancer can spread quietly throughout a woman’s body and wreak destruction to other vital organs. However, many women are shortchanged when their physician fails to do the following:
- Failing to obtain an adequate medical family history from the patient. According to the American Cancer Society, abnormal genes which can lead to cancer are generationally passed along. And the Breast Cancer Organization states that 5% to 10% of breast cancers are thought to be heredity. Women stand an increased risk of developing breast cancer themselves if they have close family members (siblings, parents) who have cancer. Knowing the patient’s family medical history very often alerts the physician to test for cancer when the physician is aware that cancer has struck another family member.
- Failing to sufficiently conduct appropriate diagnostic tests and analysis to rule in or rule out any suspected causes for the patient’s complaints. Women presenting with any type of suspicious mass, reddening tissue, breast pain and swelling, thickening breasts, and discharge from their nipple should be thoroughly tested. Insufficient testing eliminates vital information that may be needed to efficiently diagnose this disease.
- Failing to timely diagnose a patient’s condition prevents prompt treatment of cancer which would give the patient a chance for a full recovery. Breast cancer can spread rapidly or quietly and morph into different stages, from Stage 0 where the cancer is contained only in the part of the breast where it started and is readily treatable, to Stage IV where the cancer has spread to vital bodily organs and is considered advanced or metastatic cancer and is not treatable. Timely diagnosis is therefore crucial to a woman’s ability to prevent further spread of the disease.
- Failing to fully investigate a patient’s complaints and dismissing their concerns because of a reliance on factors such as age, patient self-discovery of mass, and falsely negative mammograms. While mammograms are considered the ultimate source of breast cancer diagnosis, a mammogram screen should not be the definitive determination in whether a physician does further testing to ascertain his patient’s health. Patients can pay a steep price for treatment delays or complete failure to treat.
At Jack H. Olender & Associates, PC, we approach every case as a team. We combine our attorneys’ 200 years of malpractice and personal injury law experience to produce an indomitable resource for victims of avoidable tragedies.
Let our Washington D.C. legal team help you
Contact us to see the difference our exceptional medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury attorneys can make in your case and in your life. There is no risk in calling us. Our firm does not charge a consultation fee to meet with clients and assess their particular case. We work on a contingent (percentage) fee arrangement, so no legal fees are paid if money is not recovered on your behalf. We practice in District of Columbia and Maryland courts.
The Malpractice Law Firm Jack H. Olender & Associates – Four decades of continued success.