Archive for the ‘breast cancer’ tag

Study Shows Frequency of Misdiagnosis in Breast Tissue Biopsy Samples

July 9th, 2015 at 7:00 am

misdiagnosis in breast tissue biopsy, Westport Personal Injury LawyerNew research exploring breast cancer occurrence in women reveals how conditions can often be misdiagnosed by biopsy specialists.

The new study shows that pathologists often determine if cancerous conditions are present in the breast tissue correctly, yet they fall short when making the correct diagnosis in cases where the tissue is normal or has less serious conditions. Hence, a patient with a positive diagnosis is then at risk to be either under-treated or over-treated.

Up to Half of Breast Tissue Biopsy Diagnosis May be Incorrect

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that of the breast biopsy samples in the control group, 33 percent were misdiagnosed as worrisome or normal and 17 percent were mislabeled as having suspicious cells. In roughly half of the samples, when precancerous abnormal cells were present, a pathologist was able to diagnose it correctly. In other words, the study has seemingly shed light on the fact that diagnosis of precancerous cells was incorrect in almost half the cases examined.

In 13 percent of tissue specimens, pathologists mistakenly found suspicious cells and many times had trouble identifying a condition called DCIS—ductal carcinoma in situ. DCIS is the most common non-invasive form of breast cancer and develops first inside the milk ducts in the breast. Close to 60,000 women are diagnosed with DCIS each year—a statistical rise due to increased mammography use. Misdiagnosing DCIS, or identifying normal cells when cancerous ones are present, could mean a life or death situation for some women.

Misdiagnosis Results in Inadequate Treatment and Possible Medical Malpractice

Annually, over one hundred thousand U.S. women are diagnosed with cancerous breast cells and many of these women may not be receiving the proper amount of treatment for their situations. Pathology is an imperfect science. Therefore it is always important to obtain a second opinion when faced with a positive diagnosis for cancerous cells.

Failure to diagnose cancer in some situations may result in medical malpractice. Patients who believe they may have been the victim of medical malpractice or misdiagnosis should consult with a Westport personal injury attorney without delay to discuss their case. Richard Raphael, Attorney at Law, is proud to represent victims of medical malpractice in Connecticut.

Double Mastectomy Procedures: Study Finds No Benefit to Most Patients

June 7th, 2014 at 4:39 pm

breast cancer, Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer, contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, double mastectomy, double mastectomy procedures, ovarian cancer, reconstructive surgery, Westport medical malpractice attorneyWhen a woman has been diagnosed with breast cancer, one of the most common options of treatment is a mastectomy. An increasing number of women are choosing to have double mastectomies, even when the cancer only appears in one breast. But a new study, conducted by the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, concluded in most cases a double mastectomy is unneeded.

Researchers followed the cases of 1,447 women who were diagnosed and treated for cancer in one breast and had not had cancer show up in the other breast. Eight percent of the women in the group had opted for a double mastectomy – medically referred to as a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM). The data showed that women with higher education levels, as well as women who had undergone an MRI prior to treatment, were more likely to choose a CPM.

Seventy percent of the women who chose to have a CPM did not have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer. They also did not test positive for mutated BRCA genes. A positive test to mutated BRCA genes indicates a strong likelihood of breast (and ovarian cancer). It is medically recommended that women who test positive undergo CPM.

The researchers concluded that undergoing a CPM offers no increase in survival rates because of the low rate of recurrence of cancer showing up in the other breast when just a single mastectomy is performed. In the study, only three percent of women had a recurrence.

The study, which was published in the medical journal JAMA Surgery, also points out that women who opt for CPM face much longer and more difficult recovery times, not only for the CPM surgery, but also for the reconstructive surgery that many women choose to have.

If you have suffered side effects from an unnecessary surgery or surgical error, contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney today to find out what legal action you may be able to take.

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