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Errors in Breast Cancer Diagnosing May Mean Medical Malpractice

Jeffrey H. Dover
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Atlanta Auto Accident and Medical Malpractice Attorney

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1/30/2011
Jeffrey H. Dover
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Should a diagnostic test detect an abnormality linked to breast cancer, a biopsy will almost certainly follow. The tissue extracted during the biopsy is clinically tested to see if cancerous cells are present, and it’s in this way that breast cancer is diagnosed. However, when reviewing these tests, pathologists and radiologists can, and do, make mistakes. Mistakes made in diagnosing breast cancer include providing both false negative results and false positive results, and either scenario can be devastating to a patient.

A false negative diagnosis occurs when breast cancer test results appear to be normal to the doctor but actually aren’t. If this error occurs, the patient is provided a false sense of security, and a late detection of the cancer is much more likely. Damages stemming from this type of error may prove you are the victim of medical negligence, and possibly, medical malpractice.

On the other hand, it’s just as possible that a false positive reading can be made by your doctor in diagnosing breast cancer. In this case, the doctor misreads the results of a diagnostic test and concludes that cancer is present when it actually isn’t. This usually leads to a number of unnecessary tests and treatments for a disease which isn't present.  Unneeded surgeries may also result, but even that can pale in comparison to the unwarranted emotional distress patients often suffer from after receiving a cancer diagnosis. Similar to a false negative diagnosis, damages due to a false positive diagnosis may mean medical malpractice.

There are no foolproof testing methods for breast cancer. It is part of your doctor’s duty to maintain a healthy level of skepticism towards test results, if for no other reason than to avoid giving any false positive or false negative diagnoses.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer in Georgia and feel your doctor’s failure to diagnose it correctly forced you to suffer unnecessarily, contact an experienced Georgia medical malpractice and breast cancer lawyer at the Dover Law Firm at 770-518-1133 to arrange for a no-charge consultation. We also have a number of free resources available upon request, including our book, I Have Cancer…Should It Have Been Caught Earlier?, as well as a detailed breast cancer report.


Category: Failure to Diagnose Cancer


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