Breast cancer is the second most common cancer cause of death among women. In fact, 264,000 cases of breast cancers are diagnosed in women in the U.S. each year. Of those diagnosed, about 15 percent die annually.
The question remains: how many of those who develop breast cancer could be saved with proper diagnosis?
If your breast cancer was not caught by your doctor, or if you were diagnosed with breast cancer when you did not have it, it’s possible that you have a lawsuit and could benefit from working with a New Jersey breast cancer misdiagnosis attorney.
If you find yourself in this position, it can be infuriating, but Buttafuoco & Associates can help. Get in touch for a free consultation to learn more about whether you have a case.
How Often is Breast Cancer Misdiagnosed?
Breast cancer misdiagnosis can work in one of two ways: an existing cancer is identified by a medical professional as something else, or a benign condition is inaccurately diagnosed as cancer.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, breast cancer is overdiagnosed about 30 percent of the time, leading healthy patients to undergo intensive and damaging treatment. This can lead to psychological distress, extreme illness, dangerous surgeries, and loss of work and financial security.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have what most of us associate with misdiagnosis: cases of breast cancer that are overlooked by medical professionals.
According to the National Cancer Institute, mammograms only detect breast cancer 80 percent of the time. That leaves us with 20 out of every 100 women who are not diagnosed when they are ill. Missed or delayed diagnosis leaves time for developing breast cancer to grow and spread. Without timely diagnosis, cancer can move from an early-stage, treatable form to an advanced-stage disease like metastatic breast cancer or inflammatory breast cancer. Treatment delays like these can seriously impact your ability to survive your cancer.
In addition to issues with inaccurate mammograms, breast cancer can be misdiagnosed in other ways. If a medical professional gives an ineffective exam and does not feel a breast lump, or if a radiologist or doctor misreads a mammogram, this can result in breast cancer misdiagnoses as well.
If either of these scenarios happens to you, a breast cancer misdiagnosis lawyer in New Jersey may be able to help. Buttafuoco & Associates specializes in breast cancer misdiagnosis lawsuits, and we understand how disruptive these issues can be to your financial situation, your family, and your health. We can further explain whether or not you have a medical malpractice case, as well as your rights, during a free consultation.
Is My Doctor at Fault?
While everything you’ve read up to this point may suggest that your doctor is absolutely responsible if they failed to diagnose breast cancer, that isn’t always the case. However, there are several rules we use on the legal side to determine liability in medical malpractice suits.
First, if any medical professional involved in your breast cancer diagnosis acted negligently, they may in fact be responsible. This could include mammogram technicians, radiologists, or your gynecologist or primary care doctor.
Health professionals are expected to provide a standard of care, which the National Cancer Institute defines as “Treatment that is accepted by medical experts as a proper treatment for a certain type of disease and that is widely used by healthcare professionals.”
If anyone on your team fails to adhere to the standard of care that other doctors in the field would use, they may be considered negligent and can be held accountable for harms they have caused you.
To use an example, let’s say your mammogram shows no evidence of cancer, but a few months later, you are diagnosed with breast cancer. In this case, if the cancer was visible on the mammogram, it’s possible that you have a case of medical malpractice. Who is liable depends on several things: if cancer cells were visible within your imaging, but the radiologist did not recognize it, they may be held liable. If the radiologist observed what looked like cancer and it showed up in their report but your doctor did not act on this fact, your doctor may be liable.
In order to prove negligence, your lawyer will need to be able to prove four things:
- Duty: That you and your doctor had a relationship wherein the doctor was treating you for a medical condition.
- Breach: That your doctor breached their legal duties in working with you as a patient.
- Causation: How your doctor’s negligence caused your injuries.
- Damages: The dollar amount your injuries were worth.
As you can imagine in this case, it is very necessary to have a breast cancer misdiagnosis attorney serving New Jersey in your corner to help you navigate your case. A good lawyer will gather evidence, hire medical experts to testify on your behalf, and manage the details of the lawsuit.
Misdiagnosed? Buttafuoco & Associates Can Help.
If you have been misdiagnosed in relation to breast cancer, our team can help. Medical professionals must be held accountable for their negligence, and if you have a breast cancer lawsuit, we will fight for your rights and for the compensation you need to make a full recovery.
Get in touch with us today for a free consultation at 1-800-NOW-HURT.