Our Lawyers Urge Second Opinions for Breast CancerJune 1, 2015
When cancer is present, a misdiagnosis can be the difference between life and death. Nowhere is the problem more readily apparent than in the field of breast cancer diagnostics. According to a recent study by the American Medical Association (AMA), findings reveal that pathologists correctly diagnose breast abnormalities in just 50% of cases. Additionally, those misdiagnoses often go both ways according to the AMA. In one-third of the aforementioned cases, pathologists failed to detect precancerous cells. Meanwhile, in another 13% of cases, perfectly normal cells were deemed precancerous.
Patients falling into the latter group will often undergo painful and potentially dangerous medical procedures like surgery and chemotherapy which could have been avoided, Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers note. To that end, of the 1.6 million men and women who will undergo a breast biopsy each year in the United States just 25% will receive a diagnosis of invasive cancer according to the AMA. The remainder of patients will fall into a category where misdiagnosis could be a real issue according to Cancer Network.
But for those who have been given a clean bill of health in error, the consequences can be even more dire. Breast cancer is the leading cancer for American women regardless of race or ethnicity. Moreover, breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death for Hispanic women, and the second most common cause of cancer-related death among black and white women according to the Centers for Disease Control.
When a breast biopsy has been ordered and the results interpreted – even when a patient has received seemingly good news – or when a cancer has been diagnosed and a treatment regimen has been proposed, patients should always seek a second opinion. A 2006 study found that more than half of 149 breast cancer patients referred to the University of Michigan Cancer Center’s multidisciplinary breast tumor board for a second opinion were advised to pursue a different course of treatment than was recommended by the original diagnosing hospital or care provider. According to the same study, the second opinions came most often from re-interpretations of mammograms and biopsy results.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman and Hamilton Represent Misdiagnosed Breast Cancer Patients
A breast cancer diagnosis can be devastating, whether it was made in error or whether it was received too late. Baltimore malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton obtain compensation for victims of breast cancer misdiagnosis. Contact us online or call 800-547-4LAW (4529) or toll free 1-877-854-2138 to schedule your free consultation at our Baltimore, Maryland office, where we proudly serve clients throughout Maryland, including in Baltimore County and Baltimore City.