Finding a breast lump can be a terrifying experience, and although there are many non-cancer related reasons for a breast lump, like, for example, a clogged milk duct in a nursing mother, fat necrosis due to breast injury, breast cysts, and so on, any palpable lump discovered during a self-exam by a patient should be pursued thoroughly and meticulously for an accurate diagnosis. Usually the first step in assessing a breast lump is a mammogram, yet even though the results are negative, further exploration through procedures like ultrasound or extracting a biopsy, are critical to determine that the initial negative result of the mammogram is indeed accurate. Misdiagnosis can also result from an initial ultrasound or biopsy of the breast, in which turn any of the other exams should be undergone to confirm results. Failure to do so can result in medical malpractice.
Even when machines work right, human error can fail us. An inaccurate assessment by a harried doctor who fails to see evidence of cancer cells, an overworked ultrasound technician that rushes through a scan, an inexperienced medical professional who does not reach deep enough to the mass in a biopsy procedure, can all result in a wrong judgments of test results and also lead to medical malpractice suits.
Young women tend to have a higher risk of being misdiagnosed because they do not fall in the standard age range of women who tend to have breast cancer. Their young age can lead professionals to mistakenly assume other causes for breast lumps and not investigate thoroughly enough. Yet if you have a breast lump, it is critical to seek a second opinion if you are not satisfied with the tests your doctor has ordered or with the results of the tests.
This is especially important because an early diagnosis is critical to timely treatment of breast cancer for better chances of healing and survival, especially in younger women, who tend to have a more aggressive form of cancer than older women. Either way, early diagnosis is significant for women of all age groups and health professionals should take extra care to consider breast lumps in women with increased scrutiny and precision. Consequences for not doing so, like medical malpractice suites, ensure that mistakes that negatively impact patient’s lives are not overlooked or dismissed and there is an increased standard of excellence in the profession that can continue to save more lives.
There are many legal professionals who specialize in medical malpractice suites. Finding the right lawyer and taking timely action to address a misdiagnosis are two important steps. A lawyer should have sufficient experience to understand your case and success specifically in medical malpractice suites in your state in order to assess the viability of a medical malpractice law suit and negotiate for you fair compensation. In addition, a good layer will deal with your situation with compassion and sensitivity, while being tough enough to take on aggressive lawyers or insurance companies involved. Another important aspect in medical malpractice cases is the timeliness of pursuit of legal action to avoid expiration of the statute of limitations before the filing of your case.
Ultimately, if you detect a breast lump, it is important to take an active role with your physician in the diagnosis process, follow-up with second opinions from other health care professionals if you have a negative diagnosis you are not comfortable with, and if necessary, file a malpractice suit. This not only means you can recover damages, but ultimately keeps the health care professional accountable and keeps future patients from similar misdiagnosis’s saving many more lives.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions
- How Do I Know If I’m Within the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice?
- What Does “Contributory Negligence” in Relation to Medical Malpractice Mean?
- What Do I Need to Do Before I Call a Medical Malpractice Lawyer and Open a Claim?
- Is Your Medical Malpractice Case More Likely To Settle Or Go To Trial?
- Are There Certain Medical Procedures That Are Consistently at the Root of Medical Malpractice Suits?