Study: Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Top Cause Of Radiologist Malpractice

Due to the efforts of the media, it is now common knowledge that it is important for breast cancer to be diagnosed as early as possible, in order to have the best shot at remission. Unfortunately, however, this does not always occur-sometimes due to the radiologist's failure to diagnose cancer in the breast at the early stages.

In fact, according to a recent study published in the medical journal Radiology, failure to diagnose breast cancer is the most cited reason that radiologists are sued for medical malpractice.

In the study, the researchers examined 4,793 lawsuits that were filed against 2,680 radiologists in 47 states. It was found that the majority of the lawsuits were filed because the radiologist failed to see lesions that appeared on mammograms. Because they failed to find the lesions, they subsequently failed to recommend follow-up testing that likely would have detected the presence of breast cancer. Because of this chain of events, many of the patients in the lawsuits developed advanced-stage breast cancer, which spread to other areas of the body and made successful treatment and recovery less likely.

The results of this study could not come at a worse time. A recent study by the American Medical Association found that the number of young American women diagnosed with incurable or advanced breast cancer is increasing. The study found that instances of metastatic breast cancer, which has spread to other areas of the body, has increased about 3.6 percent each year between 2000 and 2009 among women between the ages of 25 and 39. Although it was noted in the study that instances of breast cancer has increased every year since the 1970s, it increased the most during the last decade.

Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC reports that 211,731 women were diagnosed with breast cancer during 2009. The cancer proved fatal in about 19 percent of these cases.

Consult An Attorney

When a radiologist fails to detect breast cancer, it can jeopardize the patient's chances of making a recovery. In many cases, the error can prove fatal. As in other states, patients in New Jersey who are harmed by this type of serious error have the right to recover compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you or a loved one has been harmed because of a misdiagnosis, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can insure that your right to compensation is protected and the responsible parties are held accountable for their mistake.