How Can Testing Errors Lead to a Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis?

 Posted on December 04, 2020 in Medical Malpractice

Illinois failure to diagnose breast cancer lawyerBreast cancer is the type of cancer that most commonly affects women. Fortunately, when breast cancer is detected in time, a person can receive the proper treatment, and there is a 91% survival rate within five years after breast cancer is diagnosed. However, if breast cancer is not diagnosed properly, a patient may not be able to receive treatment to prevent the spread of cancer, and they can suffer serious harm as a result. Failure to diagnose breast cancer may occur because doctors failed to order the proper tests or because test results were not interpreted correctly. In these cases, patients will want to work with a medical malpractice attorney to determine their options.

Diagnostic Mammograms and Targeted Breast Ultrasounds

Imaging tests are the methods that are most commonly used to detect breast cancer. Women routinely receive screening mammograms, which are used to look for signs of breast cancer in patients who do not have any symptoms. A diagnostic mammogram may be ordered based on the results of a screening mammogram or because a patient has experienced other symptoms indicating breast cancer, such as lumps or pain in the breast, changes in breast size or shape, or discharge from the nipple.

Diagnostic mammograms take detailed X-rays of the breast from multiple angles to examine abnormalities and look for tumors that may be too small to detect using other methods. These mammograms can also detect ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which involve abnormalities in the breast ducts that may progress into cancer.

Targeted breast ultrasounds are another important imaging method that may be ordered in addition to a diagnostic mammogram or to examine lumps or abnormalities for those who have dense breast tissue. Ultrasounds use sound waves to provide images of breast tissue, and they can help determine whether a lump is a cyst that is filled with fluid or a solid mass that may be cancerous. 

Based on the results of a diagnostic mammogram or targeted breast ultrasound, a biopsy may be performed to take a sample of breast tissue and determine whether cancer exists. Doctors can then determine the appropriate treatment based on the type of cancer and how far it has spread.

Contact Our Chicago Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorneys

At Winters Salzetta O’Brien & Richardson, LLC, we have a record of success in cases where patients suffered injuries due to misdiagnosis. In one case, we obtained a $4.52 million verdict for a client who experienced a delayed cancer diagnosis due to a failure to properly interpret diagnostic tests. If you have suffered harm because of a failure to diagnose breast cancer, contact our Cook County medical malpractice lawyers at 312-236-6324 to set up a free consultation today.


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