Georgia Medical Malpractice: Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer


October 24, 2010

This sea of pink throughout Atlanta this October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While great strides have been made in increasing public awareness of the disease and raising funds for research and treatment, breast cancer still claims the lives of over 40,000 victims per year. It is estimated that 10% of all women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lifetime.

Breast cancer has a five-year survivability rate of nearly 100% if diagnosed early when the cancer is confined to the breast. Tragically, according to one study, the failure to diagnose breast cancer constitutes 40% of all medical malpractice cases in the United States. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing those injured from the negligence of others in Atlanta and throughout the State of Georgia, including medical professionals, for over 25 years.

The prognosis for breast cancer is so highly impacted by early detection that it is imperative that women are aware of the symptoms and risk factors, perform periodic self-exams and see their gynecologist on a regular basis. Studies indicate that the difference between Stage I and Stage IV survival rates may exceed 80%. A woman should perform monthly breast exams and doctors recommend getting regular mammograms and gynecological examinations. If a woman notices a lump, tissue hardness, severe discoloration or nipple discharge from her breast, she should see her gynecologist or general practitioner immediately and report the symptoms. Common breast cancer risk factors include the following:

  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Women above age 50
  • Late pregnancy
  • Early or Delayed onset of menopause
  • Radiation Exposure

If a woman has any of these risk factors, it is important to be especially diligent about performing self-exams and making regular trips to the gynecologist. Breast cancer misdiagnosis cases often involve a health care professional who does not order the proper tests, properly identify the disease or even more commonly fails to properly interpret mammogram results. Studies indicate that mammogram tests result in a false negative (meaning an erroneous disease free result) as much as 10% of the time. One study indicated that many radiologists failed to identify cancer when present 30% of the time.

Out of over 180,000 women diagnosed with cancer each year, 78% survive and this is improving all the time. Sadly, there are still too many cases where breast cancer victims succumb to the disease because of the failure of a medical professional to diagnosis the disease early.

If you or someone you love was the victim of negligent detection or treatment of breast cancer, contact the compassionate Georgia medical malpractice attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law for a free consultation to learn about your rights and how we can help. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away and we will even come to you.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.