One of the most commonly diagnosed cancers among women in the U.S. is breast cancer. The 2 most significant risk factors for developing this disease are age and gender. Race, genetics, family history and environment also play a factor, but in general, older women are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer and should be monitored closely by their doctors.
While breast cancer can be a fatal diagnosis, early detection is key to successful treatment. Advanced stage breast cancer is much more difficult to treat successfully and has a higher risk of death. A failure to diagnose breast cancer or advancements in the disease’s progression in a timely manner can result in serious harm to the patient. When this happens, it’s important to talk to a Fort Lauderdale Florida breast cancer attorney.
Diagnosing Breast Cancer
There are several common signs that a patient might be suffering from breast cancer. These include:
- Lump or thickening in the breast that feels different from the areas around it
- Discharge from the nipple, either bloody or clear
- Changes to the size and/or shape of the breast
- Changes to the skin of the breast, such as dimpling
- Swelling in armpit area
- Nipple pain
- Inverting of the nipple
- Nipple skin peeling or flaking
- Skin over breast getting red or pitting
If a patient is experiencing these symptoms, there are several methods used for diagnosing the disease:
- Breast Self-Exam: This is an important part of any woman’s routine and involves examining the breast for changes. Look for lumps, tenderness, changes in skin tone and texture, etc. Anything unusual should be brought to your doctor’s attention immediately.
- Clinical Breast Exam: This exam is done by a medical professional. It typically involves removing clothing from the waist up and putting on a gown to wear during the exam. Your doctor will examine the breasts, underarm area and collarbone area for changes in size or skin, injuries, or signs of infection.
- Mammogram: This is a type of x-ray that is done to take pictures of the soft tissue of the breast. Mammograms will usually show defects in the breast such as lumps or legions.
Lawsuits For Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer in Fort Lauderdale
A failure to diagnose breast cancer in Fort Lauderdale may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. In order to establish grounds for a claim, the case must have these four elements:
- The patient’s doctor had a duty to diagnose the breast cancer earlier.
- The patient’s doctor breached that duty to diagnose.
- The patient suffered injury.
- The patient’s injury was caused by the doctor’s breach of duty.
The most common way that a doctor breaches the duty to diagnose breast cancer is by failing to detect the cancer or administer screening tests. In this unfortunate scenario, the cancer is often discovered when it is so advanced that the treatment must be more aggressive. Determining damages in a case of misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose can be complicated, so it’s important to have an attorney who is experienced in handling breast cancer malpractice claims.
Fort Lauderdale Breast Cancer Attorney
Lisa Levine, P.A., is an experienced Fort Lauderdale breast cancer attorney who helps individuals throughout Broward County, Palm Beach County and Dade County who have suffered as a result of a failure to diagnose breast cancer in a timely fashion. With 20 years of experience in malpractice cases, Lisa Levine specializes in breast cancer malpractice claims. Call 954-256-1820 today to discuss your case in a free consultation.