Most people trust medical professionals. We’ve all been lulled into a sense of security to a certain extent on account of their extensive education, training, and experience. Yet, medical professional make mistakes more often than we care to think, and the results are nothing short of tragic. A medical error can lead to a worsened medical condition, a poor prognosis, and additional pain and suffering. This holds true for all kinds of medical malpractice, including a failure to diagnose.
Diagnosing breast cancer
The effects of a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose can be especially pronounced for those suffering from cancer. Perhaps the most heartbreaking aspect of these cases is that many forms of cancer can be effectively treated if caught early enough. For example, let’s take a look at breast cancer. Here’s how that cancer can be diagnosed:
- Mammogram: This test is an x-ray of the breast that is used to identify abnormalities in the tissue that require additional testing and analysis.
- Ultrasound: An ultrasound utilizes sound waves to obtain a better image of abnormalities that are deep within the breast tissue. This test can help a doctor better determine if a lump is solid or fluid-filled, the latter of which may be indicative of a non-cancerous cyst.
- MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging utilizes radio waves to generate an image of breast tissue. Again, this imaging process might be able to help doctors better assess a questionable lump.
- Biopsy: This test is the only real way to confirm whether a lump in cancerous. Here, a small piece of tissue is taken from concerning tissue and examined for cancerous cells.
Errors in diagnosing breast cancer
Each of these tests are easy to conduct, but their effectiveness is almost entirely dependent upon a doctors ordering of them and accurately reading their results. Sadly, too many doctors fail to recommend follow up testing or they simply miss clear signs of cancerous tissue. This can lead to a rapid development of cancer in an environment free of cancer treatment.
A failure to diagnose cancer or misdiagnosing cancer can have devastating consequences that are wholly unacceptable. If you or a loved one are in this situation now and want to achieve a sense of justice and secure compensation for extensive losses, then it might be time to talk to an attorney who is skilled in handling these kinds of cases.