- Medical Malpractice
- Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis
New York Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer
One woman in eight will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in her lifetime, and one percent of those diagnosed are men. In New York, over 16,400 women face a breast cancer diagnosis every year, and unfortunately, over 2,000 of them will die from the disease. Men also experience breast cancer, but much less frequently; breast cancer infects 160 men in New York every year.
When it comes to the effective treatment of breast cancer, early detection is key to survival. That is why missing this diagnosis is devastating; when doctors misdiagnose cancer, it delays treatment, and the patient’s chances of survival drop significantly.
This situation is devastating for patients, their loved ones, and family members. If you or a loved one was not correctly diagnosed with breast cancer, you might have a claim for medical malpractice and negligence. But these cases are complex and require expert handling. That is where the experienced cancer misdiagnosis attorneys at Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm can make a difference — we have helped hundreds of families recover compensation after a misdiagnosis (see recent client success stories).
If you or a loved one have suffered due to a breast cancer misdiagnosis, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. There is no risk, and no legal fees unless you secure compensation.
We invite you to call 212-869-3500 or complete the online case evaluation form today.
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How Did My Doctor Miss the Signs?
Generally, doctors are human and make mistakes. However, the law holds them to a higher standard of care because of their expertise and patients’ reliance on it. When doctors make mistakes in breast cancer diagnosis, the impacts are high: according to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer has a 99 percent five-year survival rate when caught early. In later stages, that survival rate drops to 28 percent.
Common mistakes leading to misdiagnosis or late diagnosis include:
- Failure to recognize and investigate symptoms
- Failure to properly assess test results or run the correct tests
- Failure to appropriately follow-up with patients regarding test results and further treatment
- Misreading mammograms, biopsies, x-rays, and other radiology or lab tests
- Ignoring a patient’s concerns and requests
- Failure to consider family history of breast cancer with reported symptoms
Breast cancer can be challenging to diagnose, so doctors should take multiple tests when you report symptoms. However, there is controversy on interpreting lab and mammogram results, and sometimes even experts overlook essential data. If a doctor only relies on one test or mammogram, that can amount to medical negligence, especially if you report other symptoms and the doctor does not investigate them.
Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions
Doctors also mistake cancer for other conditions. Common misdiagnoses include:
- Fibrocystic Breast Disease: Another name for this condition is fibrocystic breast. It causes lumpy or rope-like breast tissue. It usually is benign but often uncomfortable, causing pain and breast tenderness in patients. Doctors may mistake cancerous tumors for these benign lumps.
- Mastitis: Mastitis is breast tissue inflammation. It can occur due to a blocked milk duct or other breast infection. Mastitis resembles inflammatory breast cancer, which does not produce lumps. Symptoms include firmness, itchiness, and tenderness, which can also resemble cancer.
Both of these conditions are common, and they may be accurate diagnoses. But stay aware and watch for any new symptoms. If they arise, report them to your doctor at once. You want further assessment immediately. Any failure to assess the new symptoms could become a medical malpractice claim if you face a future diagnosis of breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Overdiagnosis
There are also instances where a patient receives a breast cancer diagnosis when they actually have a benign condition.
As many as 31 percent of breast cancer cases are overdiagnosed. The results can be devastating as patients receive unnecessary cancer treatments, including invasive surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and even unnecessary mastectomy. As a result, patients face long-term health effects from the side effects of those treatments.
These claims also fall under medical negligence and malpractice since they can also cause significant injury. Just as with misdiagnosis, these overdiagnosis cases arise from misread lab and mammogram results that lead doctors to pursue an aggressive but unnecessary treatment plan.
What Can Cause a Delayed Breast Cancer Diagnosis?
Delayed diagnosis is when breast cancer patients wait more than 90 days between their first report of a breast issue and the diagnosis. Reasons for these delays include:
- Confusing cancer with a benign condition or breast cysts
- Misread mammography and/or test results
- Errors during a breast biopsy
- Failure to consider patient’s symptoms and complaints
In these cases, medical providers had ample opportunity to discover breast cancer but failed to do so. Many patients find lumps in their breasts mere months after clean a mammography result and consult with us because the radiologist should have seen cancer before they did. This scenario becomes common because mammograms are not perfect, and sometimes, radiologists do not operate them correctly. Some patients may even receive mammograms for years without any alarming evidence arising on them.
How to Avoid Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis
Patients usually discover misdiagnosis because they keep up with preventive care. These same strategies also prevent misdiagnosis and keep you informed should you suspect malpractice. They include:
- Perform regular self-breast exams every month
- Stay current on routine annual screenings, even if you do not show symptoms
- Be aware of any changes in your breasts and report them to your doctor immediately
- If you suspect breast cancer, seek out a doctor who specializes in its detection and treatment
Staying current on your health will avoid misdiagnosis and keep you aware of your symptoms and inform you when a medical professional could be wrong about your diagnosis. It is easier to know when something is off if you already have a pattern of mammograms and exams that show what is normal for you. In addition, you will know better when to insist that healthcare professionals examine you more thoroughly. That can establish a claim if your doctor fails to take your claims seriously or manages to under or over-diagnose you.
It can take a mere few months for localized breast cancer to spread into your lymph nodes and reduce your five-year survival rate. So if you suspect misdiagnosis, seek follow-up healthcare and a second opinion immediately.
When Should I Contact a Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer?
Contact a breast cancer misdiagnosis lawyer if you or a loved one experience any of the following:
- You discover a breast lump or abnormalities after receiving regular mammograms and other preventive care that did not detect it.
- Your doctor refuses to run necessary tests, and later, another doctor diagnoses you with breast cancer.
- You experience a delayed breast cancer diagnosis because your doctor initially diagnoses you with a benign condition.
- You develop a benign condition that is diagnoses and treated as breast cancer.
- Any situation where you suspect a doctor missed or delayed a breast cancer diagnosis
You should schedule a consultation as soon as possible if you encounter these situations. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice in New York is two years and six months. This clock starts counting down on the earlier of:
- The date when you know or reasonably should have known of your doctor’s negligent misdiagnosis; or
- Your last breast cancer treatment date
When you contact a medical malpractice attorney, they will review your medical records to find irregularities in treatment and diagnosis of this type of cancer. They may consult with experts to see if your doctor took a reasonable course of action or if they were careless and negligent with diagnosing you. This review helps establish whether your doctor violated their duty of care to the extent that you incurred damages.
Once we establish you have a personal injury claim, we determine your damages. Damages victims can recover through a medical malpractice lawsuit include:
- Medical bills including specialist fees, rehabilitation costs, chemotherapy and radiation expenses, and in wrongful death cases, final illness costs
- Employment impacts including lost wages, loss of future income, or loss of support
- Non-economic damages, especially pain and suffering and emotional anguish in injury cases, and loss of companionship and emotional distress in wrongful death cases.
Medical malpractice cases are often complex and mentally agonizing. However, you do not need to go through this ordeal on your own. Instead, talk to a medical malpractice attorney at Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm.
Speak with a Misdiagnosis Attorney Today
The medical malpractice lawyers at Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm are dedicated to representing victims of medical malpractice, including cancer misdiagnosis. For three generations, we have been here for the citizens of New York when they face misdiagnosis, improper medical treatment, or late diagnosis of cancer.
Our team works closely with medical experts to establish your claim and tell a compelling story to maximize your settlement.
If you or a loved one have experienced a breast cancer misdiagnosis, we invite you to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney at Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm as soon as possible. Let our family help yours.
Call 212-869-3500 or complete the online contact form today.
Client Success Story: Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawsuit Settled
Client Success: $950K Award For Mammogram Misdiagnosis