You have breast cancer or you know someone who does. It can seem like the world is crashing down around you, like you have no way out. What do you do? Who do you talk to? These questions aren’t always easy to answer — but with 40,000 new cases of diagnosed breast cancer each year, the questions are commonly asked. Medical malpractice cases involving breast cancer patients aren’t as uncommon as they should be, though, and so we think you should be aware of the signs that it might be happening to you or your loved one.
First, it’s important to know what steps a doctor will take when attempting to diagnose a person’s cancer. A firm foundation requires a solid family history, and not only is this the first step in the process, but it’s the one where a lot of doctors start to fail. This family history is needed to determine whether or not your breast cancer is hereditary. Believe it or not, genetics also impact our survival rates. A failed family history can mean the next step never takes place.
The second step involves ordering the right lab tests based on the family history. A number of things can go wrong at this point. If your healthcare providers fail to find the right genetic markers in your DNA, then the lab tests you receive might fail to indicate the appropriate treatment, which can lead to your cancer becoming even worse. It’s also possible that doctors fail to properly communicate with lab technicians or others involved in a long chain of information swapping. Any break in this chain can mean malpractice has occurred.
Reading of the aforementioned lab tests is the next step. When a doctor misses information right in front of him, then a mistake has been made. Misdiagnosing a person’s illness or disease based on a misreading of that information might be considered malpractice, especially if it leads to improperly prescribed medications. When the latter situation arises, it can mean a person is subject to side effects they should have never experienced, which can be made all the worse if the cancer cells continue to multiply during this time period.
These possibilities provide us with the reason that women are urged to perform self-examinations. Time is the most important tool you have to fight cancer, and for many people the discovery comes too late. When approaching your doctor with concerns, don’t take no for an answer. If your first visit doesn’t go as planned, then don’t feel bad about finding a second opinion.