Failure to Diagnose DCIS
DCIS, or ductal carcinoma in situ, is a type of breast cancer that accounts for almost a quarter of new breast diagnoses each year. A proper diagnosis is a key element to treating DCIS and helping to prevent it from becoming invasive. Thus, the failure to diagnose DCIS can have catastrophic consequences, and physicians that neglect to provide their patients with an accurate and timely diagnosis should be held accountable. If you or your loved one suffered harm due to a physician’s failure to diagnose DCIS, you might be able to recover damages, and it is in your best interest to meet with an attorney to discuss your rights. The diligent Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are skilled at helping people harmed by the negligence of their doctors seek justice for their losses.Diagnosing DCIS
DCIS is cancer that is confined to the ducts of the breast. The prognosis following a DCIS diagnosis is typically excellent, as it is easily treated with a lumpectomy, followed by radiation in some instances. If a doctor fails to diagnose DCIS, though, it can become invasive and spread to other parts of the breast and throughout the body. While people diagnosed with invasive breast cancer generally experience good outcomes, their treatment success rates diminish if they are diagnosed when the cancer has progressed to later stages. As such, the failure to diagnose DCIS could ultimately have fatal consequences. Usually, certain images on a mammogram will indicate the possibility of DCIS. As such, if the doctor observes such patterns, they should refer the patient for further testing, including a biopsy, ultrasound, and MRI. Without such tests, DCIS often goes undiagnosed.Seeking Compensation for the Failure to Diagnose DCIS
The failure to diagnose DCIS often leads to delayed treatment and, in many instances, progression of the cancer from a non-invasive to invasive form. Thus, many people harmed by a missed or delayed DCIS diagnosis will pursue medical malpractice claims against their providers. Generally, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case will assert a negligence claim against the defendant. In Maryland, proving negligence requires the plaintiff to show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty and that the defendant breached the duty in some manner. In the setting of medical treatment, the duty a defendant owes a plaintiff is to provide care that complies with the applicable standard. The standard that applies is the type and level of treatment that a competent doctor who works in the same specialty as the defendant would offer when faced with a similar set of facts.
The plaintiff must also demonstrate that the defendant’s departure from the standard of care caused the plaintiff to suffer actual harm. In other words, that the plaintiff’s losses would not have occurred if the defendant had offered competent care. Usually, a plaintiff will need to hire one or more experts to explain what measures were necessary under the relevant standard and the manner in which the defendant failed to comply with the standard. Testimony from a medical expert is also usually needed to connect the defendant’s breach of the standard of care to the harm suffered by the plaintiff.Damages Awarded for the Failure to Diagnose DCIS
A plaintiff that successfully demonstrates a defendant’s liability in a medical malpractice case may be awarded compensation for the economic losses sustained, such as the cost of medical treatment needed due to the defendant’s negligence or that they will need in the future out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages. They may also be awarded damages for the noneconomic harm endured, like pain, suffering, mental anguish, anxiety, and depression.Meet with a Dedicated Baltimore Lawyer
Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death for women in the United States, and DCIS can lead to invasive breast cancer if it is not identified and treated. If you suffered losses due to a physician’s failure to diagnose DCIS, you could be owed compensation, and it is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible. The dedicated Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are well-versed in what it takes to achieve successful outcomes in medical malpractice cases, and if we represent you, we will diligently pursue the best result possible under the facts of your case. We routinely represent people in medical malpractice lawsuits in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can contact us by calling us at 410-889-1850 or through our online form or to set up a consultation.