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Lawsuit alleges biopsy could have prevented misdiagnosed cancer

Every day, physicians in Pennsylvania and every other state are trusted by patients to decide what tests are necessarily to make an accurate cancer diagnosis. They have to weigh the time and expense of medical tests with the probability of accurately diagnosing their patients without those tests. If they make the wrong decision, failure to diagnose cancer can have devastating effects for everyone involved.

A New Jersey woman believes that just one more test would have revealed that she did, in fact, have cancer and could have prevented the spread of disease from her breast to her lungs. Medical experts have presented conflicting testimony during the court proceedings for a lawsuit filed by the woman and her husband as to whether or not a biopsy should have been ordered. The woman’s attorney argues that it should have been based on the woman’s family medical history. Instead, after reading MRI results, doctors told the woman they thought the spot was just a lymph node and to schedule a follow-up appointment in 6 months—despite the fact that the woman’s mother died from breast cancer. The multi-million dollar lawsuit, which is currently being heard by a jury, is seeking compensation for future medical expenses and lost wages. The jury could also award other damages if they see fit. They are expected to return a verdict in about a week.

A person’s odds of survival are much greater when cancer is detected early; misdiagnosed cancer and delayed treatment can greatly reduce those odds. Those who believe that their misdiagnosis was due to a negligent medical professional may want to get a second opinion—this time from a legal professional.

Source: Lancaster Online “Lancaster County woman sues Lancaster General Health doctors alleging misdiagnosis of breast cancer,” Brett Hambright, Sep. 12, 2013.

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