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Misdiagnosing breast cancer

Colorado residents might benefit from understanding more about medical hazards related to the misdiagnosis of breast cancer biopsies. According to research recently published, breast cancer biopsies examined were misdiagnosed as much as 75 percent of the time. The findings are based on a study involving 100 pathologists who were crosschecked after diagnosing breast cancer biopsies. The expert doctors responsible for the crosschecking reported significant discrepancies from the pool of respondents.

Approximately 20 percent of the 1.6 million women receiving breast cancer biopsies every year are diagnosed or misdiagnosed. Researchers claim that the misdiagnoses lead to both over-treatment and under-treatment of breast cancer, but it is supposedly difficult to discern which types of errors are more prominent. The lead author of the study claims that biopsies can no longer be relied upon as the foremost procedure for diagnosing breast cancer in patients.

Atypia are abnormal, non-cancerous cells that are found in the milk ducts of about 10 percent of the woman receiving breast cancer biopsies. Nearly 60,000 women are diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ, but experts have expressed doubts about whether DCIS or atypia can even be classified as cancerous. Researchers caution that these two conditions are not synonymous with invasive cancer. Obtaining second opinions may help patients avoid suffering preventable injuries caused by one doctor's misdiagnosis.

People who want more information about medical injuries caused by misdiagnosis may benefit from consulting a lawyer. Legal counsel might be prepared to investigate the incident and determine whether the hospital, physician or medical staff can be found liable for the resulting injuries. Plaintiffs in these cases are often entitled to recover restitution designed to account for corrective procedures, loss of income and medical costs resulting from the failure to diagnose properly.

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