Breast Cancer Medical Malpractice Lawyer Compensation Claims
Thousands of Canadian citizens are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. The key to survival is early diagnosis and treatment which is often delayed due to misdiagnosis or misinterpreted test results. breast cancer misdiagnosis is extremely common and failure by a healthcare practitioner that amounts to negligence is a matter of medical malpractice and entitles the victim to claim financial recompense for pain and suffering or the loss of opportunity for a cure. Our specialist medical malpractice lawyers deal with breast cancer clinical negligence cases against doctors, nurses, technicians and other healthcare providers working in medical practices, clinics, hospitals and all other places where health care is dispensed. If you would like advice about breast cancer misdiagnosis just contact our offices and a specialist medical malpractice lawyer with call to discuss your potential compensation claim without charge and without further obligation. Our medical malpractice lawyers will give you their opinion on the liability of the negligent healthcare provider and will estimate the amount of the likely award of damages there and then.
Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Facts
Breast cancer is a common cancer, particularly in women. It is found that 1 out of every 8 women in Canada will develop breast cancer (12 percent) at some point in their lives. This means that more than 20,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed each year along with 5,000 new cases of in situ (non-invasive) breast cancer. Only about 200 men will be diagnosed each year as only about 1 percent of all breast cancer patients are men. Breast cancer rates are decreasing by about two percent per year, possibly because fewer and fewer women are prescribed hormone replacement therapy in menopause.
Of the above numbers, almost 4,000 women die each year from breast cancer. The rates of death from breast cancer have also been decreasing, felt to be the result of better treatment for the disease and increased awareness of breast cancer screening. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women, behind lung cancer. About one in four cancers in women are breast cancer. White women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer but less likely to die from the disease than black women. Black women have a history of more aggressive cancers and more metastases.
The risk of breast cancer in women doubles if she has a mother, sister or daughter with the disease. There is clearly a family history component to breast cancer although it is important to recognize that 70-80 percent of women with breast cancer have no family history of the disease. There are certain tumor markers (BRCA1 and BRCA2) that predispose a woman to have breast cancer at a greater rate than women who do not have the tumor markers on their breast cells. About one in ten breast cancers are related to BRCA2 mutations and fewer than that are related to BRCA2 mutations. The greatest risk factors for breast cancer are female gender and increasing age. Most cases of breast cancer occur in women older than age 50.
Breast cancer is diagnosed usually by mammogram although a woman can feel a breast lump and see her doctor for it. A doctor can examine the breasts and can detect a lump in the breast consistent with breast cancer. In inflammatory breast cancer, the cancer looks like a breast infection, with a swollen, red and tender breast along with dimpling of the skin and swollen lymph nodes. Inflammatory breast cancer is easily misdiagnosed because of its appearance being so similar to a breast infection. Because breast infections are uncommon in non-nursing older women, the diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer should be entertained any time there is breast tenderness and redness.
A mammogram primarily looks for calcium deposits in the breast but can just show a lump. An ultrasound can determine whether or not the lump is a cyst or solid and, if fluid is aspirated from the lump, it can be looked at under the microscope to see if cancer cells are present. An MRI of the breast can also be done to look at the possibility of breast cancer. If a lump or cancerous suspicion is found, the area is biopsied. A needle biopsy can be done to show cancer cells or an Excisional biopsy can be done, which removes the tumor in situ and examines portions of it under the microscope. Studies are now done to find out if the cancer is estrogen or progesterone receptor positive and if the cancer is HER receptor positive. There are new medications that can slow the growth of cancer cells by blocking the estrogen, progesterone or HER receptors.
The treatment of breast cancer includes removing the tumor, doing chemotherapy and/or radiation, and using hormonal treatments to block the growth of the tumor. There are biological treatments for breast cancer, some of which are currently in the research stage.