Hearing a diagnosis of breast cancer can be tough for a patient to hear, but it gives the patient the chance to seek necessary medical treatment. A misdiagnosis may alter treatment options for patients. According to a study by One-Call Medical, the failure to diagnose breast cancer is the subject of most malpractice claims against radiologists. This study reviewed almost 5,000 medical malpractice suits filed against more than 2,500 radiologists in 47 states. This study found that most cases involved the failure of the radiologist to notice a lesion and recommend appropriate follow-up care and testing.
Most of the legal suits involved claims based on failure to diagnose breast cancer and not on failure to communicate effectively with the patient. Some medical professionals feel that limitations of mammography technology may be to blame in some of these instances. If the breast tissue is dense, the ability of the mammogram to show lesions is lessened.
The study showed that most medical malpractice claims against radiologists involved failure to diagnose breast cancer. One participant in the study stated that suits arising solely out of failure to recommend further testing were rare. Simply recommending further testing will not necessarily insulate a radiologist from a medical malpractice claim.
Medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors, including radiologists, may help to financially compensate the victim and their family for the physical and financial impact of a breast cancer misdiagnosis. These lawsuits may force improvements in how medical care is provided and may lead to better mammography technology. A personal injury attorney with experience in medical malpractice may be able to help victims get compensation for a breast cancer misdiagnosis.