If you notice a lump or other unusual feature or change in your breast tissue, you should see your doctor as soon as possible to get examined for possible breast cancer. However, in most cases, signs or symptoms that are consistent with breast cancer turn out to be completely benign and harmless conditions.
In rare cases, people who go to the doctor with signs or symptoms that might indicate breast cancer get a clean bill of health from their doctor, when in fact they do have breast cancer. A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of cancer can have catastrophic or even fatal consequences for a patient. If you have suffered a misdiagnosis of breast cancer despite displaying symptoms, you need to understand what your legal rights and options are.
The most common non-cancerous cause of symptoms in breast tissue is a benign tumor. One of the most frequently occurring types of benign tumors is called fibroadenoma, which can look like or feel like a small, firm, rubbery marble. A fibroadenoma can be moved under the skin and doesn’t cause any pain.
Although the causes of fibroadenomas are not well understood, they are thought to result from hormones. Fibroadenomas more frequently occur in a person’s 20s and 30s, while breast cancer usually occurs later in life. If a fibroadenoma keeps growing, it can be surgically removed, although it is just as likely to stop growing or even shrink.
Another common benign tumor in breast tissue is called an intraductal papilloma, which is a wart-like growth in the milk ducts that usually creates a small lump next to or underneath the nipple. A papilloma may lead to a discharge from the nipple if the growth is near the nipple.
Hormone-Related Cysts and Fibrosis
Changes in hormones can also cause symptoms or conditions that can look like breast cancer, including fibrosis and cysts. Fibrosis involves a thickening of the breast tissue, causing it to feel firm or rubbery. A cyst is a moveable, fluid-filled bump. Almost half of all women will develop fibrosis or cysts in their breast tissue at some point in their lives, typically before menopause. Symptoms of fibrosis usually worsen right before a woman’s period, gradually easing and worsening throughout the menstrual cycle.
Other Symptoms That Looks Like Breast Cancer
Other common symptoms that are common to both breast cancer and benign or non-harmful or non-fatal conditions include:
- Nipple discharge
What Are Your Rights If Your Breast Cancer Was Misdiagnosed?
If you have suffered a misdiagnosis of breast cancer, you may have lost critical time to treat your disease. The earlier any cancer is caught, the easier it is to treat and the better the patient’s prognosis. A delayed diagnosis may mean that a patient may need to undergo more intensive treatments, such as surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy, with a much-reduced chance of recovery.
If your breast cancer was misdiagnosed due to your doctor’s negligent or reckless error, you may be entitled to recover compensation for:
- Additional medical expenses incurred for treatments required for a more advanced form of cancer
- Lost wages or income for time you had to miss from work due to more intensive treatment
- Loss of earning capacity if your treatment or more advanced condition disables you from going back to work
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life and reduced life expectancy
Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Case in Pennsylvania
Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in Pennsylvania? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Pittsburgh breast cancer misdiagnosis attorneys at Berger & Lagnese, LLC are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout Pennsylvania, including Butler, Cranberry Township, Erie, and Greensburg. Call us today at (412) 471-4300 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 310 Grant St., #720, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.