As North Carolina women know, finding a breast lump may be a matter of concern and needs to be checked to ensure that it is not serious. However, breast cancer may present itself in other ways and treatment delayed because medical care is put off.
A British study examined data on breast cancer patients over a two-year period. As part of the study, researchers wanted to determine how long the delay was before women sought a physician.This was important because slow diagnosis may affect survival rate over a five-year period. Of those who found a breast lump, 7 percent waited over 90 days, while the percentage rose for those with other symptoms. The percentage of those who waited the longest amount of time was highest in those who found a lump and had other symptoms as well.
While 83 percent of the women had breast lumps, others had symptoms such as skin and nipple abnormalities, pain or ulceration. Others exhibited problems in areas of the body that are not located on the breast but turned out to be breast cancer. This included back and muscle pain, shortness of breath or a lump located in the armpit.
Because an early diagnosis is an important factor in treating breast cancer successfully, a physician who fails to do so may cause the patient to receive incorrect treatment. This might adversely affect the outcome of the disease as well as cause serious harm by delaying proper treatment and necessitating additional treatment over a longer period of time.
A woman with breast cancer may be initially misdiagnosed when important symptoms are overlooked by the physician and might result in a worsened medical condition as the disease spreads. Women who have been harmed in such a manner may want to have the assistance of an attorney when seeking compensation for the resulting damages.