Women routinely get mammograms and count on physicians to properly interpret the images and tell them whether or not they have cancer. Still, doctors in some cases misread mammograms. This can occur by them either not noticing an abnormality that is present or interpreting it as benign.
Whenever an error is made in reading a mammogram it could holdup the diagnosis of the patient’s cancer. While in this time, the cancer might become advanced. By reaching a late stage, the patient has a reduced five year survival rate. Because of this the probability of her dying of the cancer go up considerably.
Examine situation that occurs much too frequently. A woman goes in for a screening mammogram. The physician examines the mammogram and informs her that there is no evidence of cancer. Perhaps roughly 1 to 2 years subsequently, the woman has a second screening mammogram. This mammogram is interpreted by the same physician and who compares it the previous one. It is interpreted as displaying no change. Once more, the woman is told that no evidence of cancer was found. Later On, the woman is finally diagnosed at a subsequent date, but by that time the patient has stage 4 breast cancer that has metastasized. Maybe she gets another mammogram which is read by a different radiologist. This time the doctor interpreting the mammogram notes an area of concern. Or perhaps the lump in her breast becomes so large that her family doctor refers her for a biopsy despite what the radiologist has said.
The concern now is the reason why the cancer was so advanced by the time it was found. Consider that the patient, like many women, saw her physicians without missing any appointments and underwent regular mammograms as per the guidelines. Was this just a very aggressive type of breast cancer which could not have been found sooner? Or was it already present in a previous mammogram.
Here a medical malpractice lawyer might be of help. In the event that it appears that you might have a possible lawsuit against the physician who interpreted the earlier mammograms the attorney will retain a radiologist to review your mammograms and determine whether the cancer was visible on the prior ones. Then, if an oncologist establishes that the cancer would have been at an earlier stage and would not have metastasized had it been found by that radiologist the lawyer might be able to help you in pursuing a claim against the radiologist responsible for the holdup in the diagnosis of your cancer.
This is a good example to consider for a number of reasons. First, it shows that it is possible for more than one separate mammogram to be incorrectly interpreted especially if reviewed by the same doctor. Even though the probability of this happening is extremely improbable it can happen. A resulting lawsuit would proceed because there would be evidence offered that had the mammogram not been incorrectly interpreted the cancer might have been discovered while still at an early stage, which typically has a high 5 year survival rate.
The discussion in this article is just a very brief examination of a few of the issues that might give rise to a potential medical malpractice lawsuit against a physician who erroneously interprets a mammogram and brings about an injury to a woman by so doing since the resulting delay in the discovery of her cancer permits a localized, early stage cancer, to metastasize. Should you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice you should consult a medical malpractice attorney immediately to figure out whether you may have a claim and if you still have time to go forward with the claim.