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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.

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Chicago medical negligence attorney for misdiagnosisWhen you receive medical care, you place a great deal of trust in your doctor and other medical personnel. Because of their medical expertise, you expect them to be able to identify your needs and determine the best treatments. Unfortunately, doctors do not always meet these expectations, and if they fail to provide the proper level of medical care, you can suffer serious harm. Misdiagnosis is one of the most common forms of medical malpractice that can result in serious injuries to patients, and it occurs far too regularly.

A recent study conducted by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that around 12 million people experience diagnostic errors each year in the United States, and in around one third of these cases, misdiagnosis results in permanent injuries or wrongful death. The study also estimated that between 40,000 and 80,000 people die each year because of misdiagnosis.

What Are the Most Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions?

The study identified three areas in which misdiagnosis occurs most often:

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DuPage County misdiagnosis injury attorneyDuring the month of October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, pink ribbons are a common sight as many people join in the effort to make the dangers of this disease known. Acitivists have spent decades working to increase awareness and encourage women to participate in regular screenings, and as a result, many lives have been saved. However, due to the unfortunate prevalence of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, many families continue to suffer serious physical, emotional, and financial harm because of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Statistics and Risks

Every year, more than 250,000 women in the United States contract breast cancer, and the disease results in around 40,000 deaths. More than three million people in the U.S. have a history of breast cancer, including those who are participating in or have completed treatment. While breast cancer is most common in women over the age of 50, it also affects many younger women, with around 10% of newly-diagnosed cases occurring in women under the age of 45.

Some factors that increase the risks of breast cancer include:

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