Cancer. Just the mere utterance of the word can strike fear in the strongest amongst us. Too many of Miami’s residents have themselves or know someone who has been affected by this terrible disease. They may also know that beating cancer is possible with early detection and prompt, efficient treatment. Catching cancer in its early stages requires close attention and examination both on the part of the patient and his or her doctor. But what happens when a patient is proactive, but doctors falsely lay the patient’s fears to rest?

That is the heart of a recently filed medical malpractice lawsuit. The woman who filed the claim alleges a tumor in her breast was wrongly diagnosed as benign for years. According to the lawsuit, in 2007, after a mammogram, the woman was found to have a small lump in her breast. After another test, her doctor told her it was benign. Similar diagnoses were made in 2009, 2010 and 2011. It was not until the woman’s case was randomly reviewed by another medical professional that the mass had grown significantly and was cancerous. The woman underwent a mastectomy and was told that if her condition was not caught by the review, she may have been dead in six months.

A missed diagnosis like this should never occur. Doctors are well-educated and well-trained in how to spot major diseases like cancer, and therefore should be able to perform simple tests to make an accurate diagnosis. Unfortunately, though, many medical professionals are fatigued, inattentive or reckless, putting patients like the woman above at risk of serious harm.

Those who have been injured by a failure to diagnose, a missed diagnosis, or a wrong diagnosis may suffer extreme loss in their physical, emotional and financial lives. When this happens, a victim can seek the assistance of an attorney who can help him or her fight for the compensation they deserve and to bring accountability to a tragically flawed system.

Source: KRQE, “Lawsuit: Woman victim of misdiagnosis,” Kayla Ayres, May 25, 2014