For many years, people across the U.S. have believed that early-stage breast cancer does show any signs in patients. Contrary to this belief, even the earliest stage of breast cancer often comes with several symptoms. Examples include:
- Unexplained nipple discharge
- Breast size and shape changes
- Pain in any region of the breast
- Breast tissue swelling or thickness
- New lumps form in the breast area
- Breast skin becomes irritated, dimpled or both
All physicians who received medical training in the 20th and 21st centuries should know to search for cancer in patients with associated symptoms. Despite this, breast cancer remains one of the most misdiagnosed forms of cancer.
Benign lookalikes to breast cancer
One of the reasons for failure to diagnose breast cancer is because it can mimic other, less severe conditions. If a doctor tells you that you have one of the benign lookalikes below, there exists a chance that you may have breast cancer instead:
- Tubular adenoma
- Granular cell tumor
- Desmoid fibromatosis
Proliferative breast conditions:
- Fat necrosis
- Stromal fibrosis
- Sclerosing adenosis
Inflammatory breast conditions:
- Granulomatous mastitis
- Lymphocytic mastopathy
- Infectious mastitis and breast abscess
A failure to diagnose breast cancer usually means that patients are not receiving the treatments necessary to save (or at least extend) their lives. Consider seeking a second and perhaps a third medical opinion to confirm your diagnosis.
Modern medical professionals know that delayed or wrong diagnoses can increase the risk of early death for cancer patients. As trained doctors, they must leave no stone unturned when diagnosing any breast condition. Failure to do so is often grounds for a medical malpractice claim in Central Iowa and elsewhere in America.
Learning more about medical malpractice can help you find a legal remedy. It can also guide you in how to proceed with your claim.