Many women have been able to overcome breast cancer, especially when the illness was detected early. Various tests are used for breast cancer detection, including mammograms. Unfortunately, mammograms are sometimes misread or misinterpreted, which can lead to fatal consequences for the patient. If you or someone you love has been given a delayed cancer diagnosis due to a misread mammogram, you may be able to hold the medical provider accountable.
There are two types of mammograms that are frequently conducted – screening and diagnostic. A screening mammogram is generally used for women between ages 35 and 40 or for women with a family history of breast cancer. A diagnostic mammogram is used when a patient is experiencing symptoms of breast cancer, which may include a lump in the breast, breast mass, thickening or nipple discharge.
The American College of Radiology created a Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System as a way for radiologists to compare the results. There are various categories of mammogram findings that range from negative cancer to high probability of malignancy. The higher the category, the greater the chance of breast cancer. Additional studies are sometimes needed following a mammogram, such as a sonogram, biopsy or other follow up procedure.
A mammogram is only effective if it is read by someone who understands what they are looking at. According to a report by the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, younger radiologists or ones who were recently trained, were two to four times more likely to misinterpret mammograms. However, even if the mammogram findings are correctly interpreted, other problems can occur if the results are not properly communicated to the doctor or if the report is lost or misfiled without being read.
If you or a family member has suffered due to a misread mammogram, the medical professional may be held accountable for medical malpractice. Contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Louisville at Gray and White Law at 1-502-210-8942 or 1-888-450-4456 for a free legal consultation.