Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis: You Could Be Entitled To Compensation

25 March 2015
 Categories: Law, Blog


Have you been diagnosed with breast cancer? One study concluded that misdiagnosed breast biopsies occur frequently, and when they do, patients may be under treated or treated with options that are too aggressive. Patients who are not diagnosed correctly could be compensated for these erroneous diagnoses if negligence is discovered.

Undertreatment could create the perfect circumstances for breast cancer to spread, and when aggressive treatments are given to someone who has been misdiagnosed as having cancer, it can affect their quality of living. Think of taking strong medications that you do not necessarily need. For example, chemotherapy can have side effects such as fatigue, weight loss, hair loss, or heart problems. 

Negligence Due to Delayed Diagnosis

This type of situation occurs when people go to doctors, but doctors do not discover cancerous conditions. For example, patients who have documented proof of seeing their doctors for physicals could be compensated if there is a delay in discovering breast cancer.

Although it is reasonable to assume that some cases of breast cancer may go undetected during a basic physical, certain actions by a doctor could be viewed as negligent. For example, failure to inform a woman over the age of 40 about the importance of mammograms. Physicians cannot simply assume that their patients are aware of needing the testing performed. 

Another scenario would be if a person reported lumps or other issues to their physicians, and the biopsies were classified as benign when in fact they were malignant. The delayed diagnosis could cost someone their life or the loss of their breasts. 

Negligence due to Gender 

Breast cancer is more common in females than males. This does not give doctors a "free pass" when it comes to failing to diagnose males. Their actions could be deemed as negligent if they fail to address predisposition to cancer due to familial history or lifestyle choices. Smoking is an example of a lifestyle choice that could place a person at a greater risk for cancer. 

Negligence Due to Wrong Diagnosis

When biopsies are taken, they are examined by biopsy specialists. Aside from biopsy misreadings, a wrong diagnosis could also occur if mammogram results are not interpreted correctly. 

Final Thoughts

A personal injury lawyer is the best resource to use to prove negligence. You may be offered a settlement from an insurance company representing the physician who provided your medical care, but the settlement offer extended to you may not cover all of your expenses.

Accepting payment from an insurance company will likely require you to sign a waiver, which will state that you will not sue or seek any additional compensation from the insurance company or physician. This means that even if you have problems in the future related to the erroneous diagnosis, you will not have any recourse. For more information, contact a firm such as Dunnigan & Messier P.C.