October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when medical professionals strive to raise awareness about this potentially deadly disease and the importance of early detection. For most cancers, survival rates are higher when the disease is discovered and treated in its early stages. However, when a doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis, or misses the warning signs entirely, the patient may miss the opportunity for life-saving treatment. Here is a guide to cancer misdiagnosis and how patients can protect their rights and receive the compensation they deserve when a deadly mistake is made.
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Cancer misdiagnosis is a form of medical malpractice, which occurs when a physician or other health care provider causes harm to a patient by failing to meet an established standard of care. There are many forms of malpractice, from misdiagnosing a serious illness such as cancer to prescribing the wrong medication to leaving an instrument inside a patient after surgery. A mistake does not have to be intentional to qualify as malpractice.
A study from Johns Hopkins University showed that at least 250,000 – 400,000 people die and millions of others are seriously harmed each year as a result of medical mistakes. In fact, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, medical malpractice was the third leading cause of death in the United States.
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While routine mammograms cannot prevent breast cancer, they can reveal tumors that are too small to detect in a physical exam. This allows many early-stage malignancies to be treated before the disease spreads to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
Many women postponed scheduling mammograms and other screening procedures during the Covid-19 pandemic, a situation that is likely to result in an increase in later-stage cancers and higher mortality rates, according to the National Mammography Database Committee of the American College of Radiology. While diagnostic mammograms are now almost back to pre-pandemic levels, there is still a lag in routine screening mammograms, biopsies and cancer diagnoses.
Here are some significant statistics compiled by the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.
Yes, although men comprise less than one percent of all breast cancer cases. However, male cancer victims have higher mortality rates than females, primarily because there is less awareness about male breast cancer. Therefore, a man who discovers a lump beneath the nipple and areola, one of the major symptoms, is more likely to delay seeing a doctor until the disease has progressed to a deadlier stage. The majority of men diagnosed with breast cancer are over 50.
This year, approximately 2,710 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer across the U.S., and about 530 of these cases will be fatal.
Because male breast cancer is so rare, it may be misdiagnosed or missed entirely by physicians who are unaccustomed to encountering the disease in men.
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If you or a loved one has suffered harm due to a cancer misdiagnosis or other form of medical malpractice, we can help. Our knowledgeable attorneys know what it takes to win the compensation you and your family deserve. There are strict filing deadlines for medical malpractice cases, so it’s important to contact us immediately.
Medical malpractice law is complicated, but finding the right cancer misdiagnosis lawyer is simple. Don’t let the legal clock run out. Fill out the brief form below or call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our legal team.
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