Hearing the words, “you have cancer,” from a doctor is something that almost everyone fears. For many cases of cancer, early detection can lead to a favorable outcome, but a failure to diagnose cancer can be devastating for a patient.
Most women know the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Many women perform breast self-exams and have mammograms performed regularly. When these inspections spot something suspicious like a lump, the next step is often a biopsy. It is up to s pathologist to analyze the biopsy and provide answers for patients. However, a recent study suggests that pathologists often make mistakes.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that for some types of cancers and precancerous cells, pathologists frequently failed to detect the problem. For one type of precancerous cells, pathologists were able to correctly diagnose the problem in only about 50 percent of cases.
When a medical provider fails to recognize cancer in a patient it can lead to delayed treatment. Cancer is often seen as a ticking time bomb and any delay in treatment can lead to devastating outcomes. A person who believes their medical provider failed to diagnose their cancer may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. An attorney can review the medical history and determine whether the failure to detect the cancer amounted to negligence. When medical negligence results in harm to the patient, the patient or the patient’s family may be able to seek compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. These cases are technically and often emotionally difficult. It’s important for the injured and their families to have the help of experienced attorneys.