Virtually everyone knows someone who has fought the battle against breast cancer. October, as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, has become the center of a movement to increase awareness of the disease. For women, a breast cancer diagnosis is a palpable fear. However, most are not inclined to consider the possibility of a misdiagnosis. Breast cancer misdiagnosis is not uncommon and can carry serious risks that a Philadelphia breast cancer misdiagnosis lawyer could help you understand. Moreover, a misdiagnosis may be the result of medical malpractice. If you are the victim of medical malpractice the led to a breast cancer misdiagnosis, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced cancer misdiagnosis attorney immediately.

American Women and Breast Cancer

Women, especially over the age of 40, are consistently tested and checked for breast cancer. They are examined during routine doctors’ visits, undergo yearly mammogram testing, and are encouraged to conduct regular self-breast examinations at home. In the U.S., about 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. With the exception of skin cancers, it is the leading cancer among American women and the second leading cause of cancer death. In 2014 an estimated 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed and 40,000 women will die as a result of the disease.

Cases and subsequent deaths have been in steady decline since 2000, which is attributed to early detection, increased awareness, and improved treatment. Though medical treatment and testing have greatly improved over the last few decades, mistakes can still occur. An estimated 10%-20% of cancer cases are misdiagnosed, with even more cases of misdiagnosis going unreported every year. With such a high rate of misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis, it is important to be cautious and to consult a Philadelphia breast cancer misdiagnosis attorney when necessary.

Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis of Breast Cancer at Pennsylvania Hospitals

Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis

When discussing Breast Cancer misdiagnosis, many factors are involved and vary from case to case. Generally, in breast cancer misdiagnosis cases, a patient may either be diagnosed with breast cancer or diagnosed with a different illness entirely. In either case, it is ultimately determined that the diagnosis was wrong. This conclusion may be reached in a number of different ways, such as after reviewing further testing or seeking an alternative opinion.

Delayed Diagnosis

Another diagnosis issue that should be discussed is delayed diagnosis. A breast cancer patient may be the victim of delayed diagnosis when the period of time between the onset of symptoms and the official diagnosis is not considered optimal. The key to beating breast cancer is often early detection. A Philadelphia attorney understands that a delayed breast cancer diagnosis has the potential to be fatal or life-threatening, eliminating an opportunity to fight the disease when it is misdiagnosed.

Taking Legal Action Against Negligent Doctors in Philadelphia, PA

No woman wants to face a breast cancer diagnosis. In the event of a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, her fight will become exponentially more difficult. Whether you were misdiagnosed with a disease that you do not have, or you missed an opportunity to receive timely treatment due to a delayed diagnosis, you may be entitled to take legal action. Medical malpractice cases involving misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis should be evaluated by a skilled Philadelphia attorney and a team of experts who are knowledgeable about breast cancer. This evaluation will provide a victim insight regarding the value of their case.

In order to be successful in a breast cancer misdiagnosis case there are certain things that need to be proven. Generally, you will need to be able to prove the following:

  • Doctor-patient relationship existed at the time of the alleged error in diagnosis
  • The doctor’s error rose to the level of negligence Expert testimony required
  • Must show deviation from the standard of care
  • The patient suffered harm due to that negligence

A doctor is determined to have been negligent “when they fail to provide the quality of care that other reasonably competent doctors would have provided under similar circumstances.” In this context, that quality of care is representative of providing a proper diagnosis. The patient must prove the appropriate standard of care and then show how the care provider deviated from that standard. The standard of care is a legal term, used to describe the customary practices of the average physician. Proving negligence and standard of care is a hefty feat, requiring an expert opinion to do so. Once an expert opinion is obtained, the last piece of the puzzle is to show that the patient suffered harm as a direct result of the doctor’s negligence. Harm after the fact is insufficient. With the assistance of medical support, the patient or an attorney on the patient’s behalf must establish a causal connection between the harm and the care provider’s conduct.

Contact a Philadelphia Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney Today

If you suspect that you are the victim of a delayed or misdiagnosis, and believe that you meet the previous criteria, you may have a valuable medical malpractice case. Contact the Marrone Law Firm, LLC today to discuss your misdiagnosis with an experienced Philadelphia breast cancer misdiagnosis lawyer.

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