Breast Cancer Diagnosis Errors

The National Cancer Institute estimates that there will be 192,370 new cases of breast cancer among women this year. 40,170 women will die from breast cancer, according to the Institute. In spite of these statistics, breast cancer remains one of the more treatable forms of cancer if it is detected early through breast examination and mammography. It is estimated that between 85-90% of all breast cancer can be detected by mammography. The American Cancer Society recommends a baseline mammography before a woman reaches the age of 40 and an annual mammography every year thereafter. Still, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women today. Some of these deaths occur because of a breast cancer misdiagnosis or a late diagnosis of breast cancer. A misdiagnosis may occur when a radiologist misreads a mammogram. Additionally, the rate of false negatives for mammograms is 10%. If a routine breast examination reveals a lump or mass in the breast but is not detected by mammography, the standard of care warrants follow-up diagnostic exams and testing including an ultrasound or biopsy. In cases where a breast biopsy is ordered, errors in diagnosing are an unfortunately all too common malpractice claim. In cases where the healthcare professional failed to timely diagnosis breast cancer the consequences can be fatal. The survival rate between Stage I breast cancer and Stage IV plummets 80% according to some studies. Since breast cancer is a progressive disease, any delay can have serious negative consequences. Breast cancer is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed forms of cancer. If you are presenting symptoms of breast cancer, see a doctor immediately. If you are not satisfied with your doctor, make an appointment to see another one, preferably a specialist. Be proactive.