Cancer patients in Connecticut and throughout the U.S. have concerns about physician negligence and failure to diagnose cancer. A negligent physician or cancer misdiagnosis prevents the patient’s access to accurate prognostic information needed to make planning and treatment decisions. Time is an enemy of the misdiagnosed cancer patient.
Delayed treatment of breast cancer is especially worrisome. Misdiagnosed cancer can ultimately result in the spread of disease. Patients with early stage breast cancer may have more treatment options than those with late stage cancers according to a study of false-positive mammogram results.
The study involved statistical analysis of approximately 262,000 women in metro Chicago. About 12 percent of screening mammograms studied showed false-positive results.Fifteen percent of women with a negative mammogram didn’t schedule a subsequent screening mammogram when their doctors recommended it. Twenty-two percent of women with false-positive results failed to schedule an annual follow-up. For women aged 50 or more, the decision to skip an annual mammogram may prevent doctors from identifying up to 30 percent of cancers. The study underscores the importance of the patient-physician relationship. Accurate medical diagnosis includes both patient and physician. Doctors, radiologists, and other medical providers make mistakes. Mammogram results aren’t definitive proof that the patient has breast cancer or not. When the doctor recommends an annual mammogram screening after a false-positive result, it’s the patient’s responsibility to schedule the follow-up as directed.
Breast cancer is a serious medical condition, but it’s no longer an automatic death sentence for many patients. Early diagnosis of breast cancer saves lives. If a doctor or radiologist fails to make a timely diagnosis, an attorney might review the case in order to see if a medical malpractice lawsuit would be an advisable solution.