October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it is it important for women at risk to understand their diagnosis and treatment options. Knowing how to care for yourself can go a long way in the healing process. While a patient cannot prevent a medical mistake, they may be able to take action to quickly set themselves on the path to recovery. San Diegan women at risk for breast cancer can take their health in their own hands by being proactive and seeking justice when medical malpractice occurs.
A recent study revealed that 92 percent of breast cancer malpractice cases occur when there is a missed or delayed diagnosis. The Doctors Company, a physician-owned insurer, studied six years’ worth of these types of claims to deduce that misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose constitutes the majority of impetuses.
There are several things women can do to help them get a timely, accurate diagnosis. One key step, according to the American Cancer Society, is that annual mammograms should start once a woman is 40 years old. A New England Journal of Medicine study found digital mammograms can be superior to traditional methods for women younger than 50, those with dense breasts and those who are premenopausal or in their first year of menopause. Self-exams and disclosing a family history can also give a physician a good idea of a woman’s risk factors.
Despite any preventative measures you take, there is still a chance of medical negligence. If you suspect your physician has failed you in misdiagnosing your issues, or that a delayed diagnosis caused you more harm, you may be entitled to compensatory damages. San Diego personal injury lawyers can help you file a claim to help you pay for your worsened medical condition.
Source: Scoop San Diego, “Being a proactive patient goes a long way in the fight against breast cancer,” Oct. 11, 2013