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New York City Medical Malpractice Lawyer > Blog > Personal Injury > Can I Sue My Doctor For Failing To Diagnose Breast Cancer?

Can I Sue My Doctor For Failing To Diagnose Breast Cancer?


Each year, approximately 16,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the Empire State. It is one of the most common types of cancer for women in the State of New York, and in many cases, these women pass away or suffer needlessly due to negligence on the part of healthcare professionals. A doctor who fails to diagnose breast cancer in a timely manner could be liable for damages suffered by their patient. If you think that your doctor has failed to diagnose your breast cancer, you may have the opportunity to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against them.

The Importance of Early Detection for Breast Cancer 

Early detection is absolutely key when dealing with breast cancer. If the cancer is identified early, women can choose from a wider range of treatment options, and they also enjoy a much better chance of survival. In fact, the survival rate for breast cancer patients is 93% higher for women who detect it in the early stages. On one hand, it is the responsibility of each woman to get regular checks for breast cancer. These checks might include mammograms or clinical breast examinations. Self-checks can also be very helpful. In some cases, an ultrasound or sonogram may also prove helpful.

On the other hand, the majority of women are not medical experts. They can only put their trust in their doctors, and they must rely on these medical professionals to conduct thorough exams. In an ideal world, breast cancer is detected before it can be felt. This is done mostly through mammograms, and these tests must be conducted by a medical professional. If these medical professionals fail to diagnose breast cancer in the early stages even after extensive testing, we have to ask ourselves whether they have been negligent. Then there are those cases where the cancer is open, obvious and palpable, and the doctor dismisses it as just another fibroma or benign mass. The doctor needs to examine these items carefully and assume that they are cancerous unless they can be proven by testing as benign.

When is a Doctor Liable? 

In the context of breast cancer, a doctor might be found negligent for a number of reasons. They might have misclassified the specific type of cancer, failed to diagnose it completely, or given the wrong diagnosis (a false positive). Sometimes the doctors just dismiss the condition as benign without further testing because the patient looks good or is young.  With all that said, most negligent doctors in this situation have given what is known as a “delayed breast cancer diagnosis.”

As the name suggests, a delayed breast cancer diagnosis is when a doctor fails to diagnose breast cancer in a timely manner, resulting in a much worse situation for the patient. In most cases, doctors who give delayed diagnoses do so because they don’t take a woman’s concerns seriously. Many dismiss the concerns of young women, believing that they’re not yet old enough to suffer from this disease. Or they look at the patient, and say, you know you look pretty good. As a result, the doctor drops the ball and fails to take the next step, whatever that step may be, to further diagnose the patient’s condition.  As time goes by, the patient’s condition becomes worse and spreads to other parts of her body, reducing her best chances of survival and fails to offer her the best treatment options available at that time.  This can result in more extensive surgeries, devastating chemotherapy treatments and radiation burning treatments.

How Can I Sue My Doctor For Medical Malpractice? 

If you believe you have suffered needlessly due to medical malpractice, the first step is to find a qualified, experienced New York City personal injury lawyer. Make no mistake, you can sue your doctor for this terrible lapse of judgment. In fact, breast cancer-related incidents are among the most common causes of medical malpractice lawsuits in the United States. Reach out to Michael Gunzburg, P.C., they have handled many failure to diagnose breast cancer cases successfully, and they will help you get the compensation your deserve.


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