We expect a lot from our medical professionals, but there’s good reason to hold them to a high standard. After all, these doctors and nurses receive years of education and training in order to adequately perform their job duties. Yet, despite this fact, the truth is that these individuals make mistakes more frequently than we care to imagine, and those errors can be severely harmful to patients. This is especially true when doctors either fail to diagnose cancer or misdiagnose cancer. In these instances, a patient can develop a worsened condition or even suffer and die unnecessarily.
This is wholly unacceptable, which is why those who have been affected by a misdiagnosis or a wrong diagnosis need to know what they can do to find accountability. A medical malpractice claim demonstrates that the applicable standard of care was breached when a medical professional either failed to order proper testing or misinterpreted test results, and it makes it clear the damage the negligence caused.
Testing for breast cancer
Take a look at breast cancer as an example. This disease can be effectively treated if diagnosed early on. And there are a lot of ways that doctors can detect breast cancer, too. Each of the following can be effective methods of catching this disease:
- A physical examination can lead to the discovery of suspicious lumps that require additional analysis
- A mammogram utilizes X-rays to create images of abnormalities within the breast tissue
- An ultrasound of the breast can help provide images of lumps deep within breast tissue, which can help medical professionals better determine if the suspicious mass is cancerous or merely a cyst
- A biopsy, which is the most effective means of diagnosing breast cancer, requires the physical removal of suspicious tissue from the breast for further analysis.
Know what your doctor did and didn’t do
As you can see, doctors have a lot of tools at their disposal, not just as far as breast cancer is concerned, but usually when it comes to diagnosing a whole host of diseases and medical conditions. Failing to utilize those tools might constitute medical malpractice. That’s why if you’ve been harmed by a failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis, then you might want to talk to your attorney about whether the applicable standard of care was breached by inadequate testing or misinterpretation of test results.