No one ever wants to hear the doctor utter those terrible words: “you have breast cancer.”  Sadly, hundreds of thousands of women are diagnosed with this form of cancer each year.  The National Cancer Institute reported that in 2010 alone, 207,090 women were diagnosed with the disease and 39,840 died from it.

It is no surprise that one of the most crucial factors to surviving breast cancer is early detection.  However, according to an article in The New York Times, “Prone to Error: Earliest Steps to Find Cancer,” diagnosing the earliest stage of breast cancer can be challenging.  Errors often happen and disagreements ensue regarding whether a lump is benign or malignant.

Know the Signs
While it doesn’t happen in every breast cancer case, sometimes there are signs that would alert you to the presence of this disease.  It is therefore important for women to conduct self-examinations at least once a month. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., “nearly 70% of all breast cancers are found through self-exams and with early detection the 5-year survival rate is 98%.”  You can visit the foundation’s website for information on how to conduct a self-exam.

Some of the common signs of breast cancer include:
  • A lump or thickening
  • Nipple changes
  • Change in size and shape of breast
  • Bloody discharge from nipple
  • Dimpling of skin over the breast
  • Inverted nipple

It is important that you contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the above breast cancer symptoms.

Misdiagnosed Breast Cancer
Despite all of the medical advances over the years, breast cancer is sometimes misdiagnosed.  If you have suffered from a breast cancer misdiagnosis in Virginia, you need to learn your rights.  For more information, order a FREE copy of the book, Why Most Medical Malpractice Victims Never Recover a Dime.
Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney
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