One in every eight women will face the challenges of a breast cancer diagnosis, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. This deadly disease is the most common cancer diagnosis among women and the second leading cause of female cancer deaths. Early diagnosis is critical to the successful treatment of breast cancer. Unfortunately, thousands of cases go misdiagnosed each year, leaving patients vulnerable to advancing complications and a significant risk of death. The compassionate Washington D.C. and Maryland medical malpractice attorneys of Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A. diligently assist patients impacted by a breast cancer misdiagnosis.

Diagnosing Breast Cancer

Many factors may contribute to the development of breast cancer. Women over the age of 50 are at an increased risk, as are women with an extensive history of oral contraception usage and those with a family history of the condition. Doctors have a duty to consider these risks among their patients, along with any symptoms that may develop. Some common signs of breast cancer include:

  • An unexplained lump or mass in the breast tissue
  • Discharge from the nipple
  • Pain or tingling in the breast area
  • Reddening of the breast area

Proving Physician Liability

The development of breast cancer while under a physician’s care is not solely sufficient to bring a medical malpractice claim. A patient must also adequately demonstrate the existence of symptoms and the doctor’s failure to properly diagnose them.

Here is an example of a possible breast cancer misdiagnosis claim:

A patient discovers a lump in her breast through self-examination and informs her primary care physician. The doctor classifies the lump as a benign cyst and fails to order any screenings or referral for a biopsy. Trusting in the doctor’s diagnosis, the woman does not seek treatment. One year later, she is diagnosed with breast cancer and learns that it is in an advanced stage. In proving medical malpractice, the woman must demonstrate the following:

  • The physician had a duty to diagnose the cancer in a timely fashion, which arose when she informed the doctor of the lump she found under her arm.
  • The physician breached that duty by not taking appropriate steps to diagnose the condition.
  • The progression of the cancer from an early to advanced stage has caused injury.
  • The injury is causally related to the physician’s failure to diagnose the breast cancer.

Proving a medical malpractice claim can be challenging without representation from a knowledgeable Baltimore, Maryland and Washington D.C. personal injury attorney. The statute of limitations sets specific deadlines for filing an initial complaint. Failure to meet these limitations can prevent you from securing compensation for your injuries. So, it is vital that you secure legal representation as soon as reasonably possible.

Rely on the medical malpractice attorneys of Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A. to advocate for your rights

If you or a family member experienced a breast cancer misdiagnosis in Baltimore, Washington DC, or Maryland, contact the attorneys of Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A. for compassionate, yet aggressive representation. Call our office at 410-234-1000 for a consultation.