Monica Long was told she had the earliest stage of breast cancer, known as Stage 0 or ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). According to The New York Times, a pathologist had come to this conclusion after performing a biopsy. Ms. Long opted to have extensive surgery, only later to find out that the pathologist had it wrong. She never had breast cancer.

It’s not breaking news.

In 2006, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a breast cancer survivors’ organization, released a study with alarming findings. According to The New York Times, these researchers reported that in 90,000 cases, women who were diagnosed with DCIS or invasive breast cancer “either did not have the disease or their pathologist made another error that resulted in incorrect treatment.”

That 2006 study wasn’t isolated. In 2002, doctors at Northwestern University Medical Center looked at the pathology of 340 breast cancer patients and discovered that close to 8 percent of the cases had errors.  These mistakes were significant enough to alter the plans for surgery.

The New York Times even reported about a San Francisco pathologist, who reviewed 597 breast cancer cases from 2007 and 2008, found discrepancies in 141 of them.

Were you misdiagnosed with breast cancer?

If you were misdiagnosed and have suffered as a result, you should talk with a Virginia medical malpractice attorney.  It is also important that you research information about medical malpractice cases. You can learn more by ordering a FREE copy of the book, Why Most Medical Malpractice Victims Never Recover a Dime.

*Source: The New York Times, “Prone to Error: Earliest Steps to Find Cancer”

Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized car accident and ERISA disability attorney in Fairfax, VA.
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