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Failure to Diagnose Breast and Cervical Cancer Malpractice Cases May Increase Due to Lack of Screening in Younger Women


Failure to Diagnose Breast and Cervical Cancer Malpractice Cases May Increase Due to Lack of Screening in Younger Women

New Report from CDC claims despite effective screening, breast cancer and cervical cancers still diagnosed late. Florida Attorney Lisa Levine from Levine & Glassman, P.A. talks about how late screening can increase medical malpractice cases.

Fort Lauderdale, FL (PRWEB) December 13, 2010

Early detection and screening is the best way for women to ensure they survive most breast and cervical cancers. A recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention entitled “Surveillance of Screening Detected Cancers” found that despite the availability of effective screenings, a large number of treatable cancers are diagnosed at late stages.

The MMWR report released by the CDC on November 24, 2010 claimed “over half of all colorectal cancers and cervical cancers and a third of breast cancers were diagnosed in the later stages.” This news is troubling from a health care standpoint because the earlier cancers are detected and treated the better the outcome for the patients in general. Lisa Levine, a Florida personal injury attorney, says that “when a doctor fails to diagnose cervical cancer early, it puts the patient in a very bad position. Chemotherapy and radiation can be avoided if the cancer is found in the early stages. It becomes a medical malpractice issue if the physician missed the early diagnosis and the patient suffered damages.”

Lisa Levine focuses in medical malpractice that affect women especially failure to diagnose breast cancer. She is a dedicated advocate for women's issues and has been featured on Good Morning America and NBC News. From a litigation standpoint, Lisa Levine can attest to the truth of the CDC findings because most doctors in her medical malpractice cases failed to effectively screen the patients for these cancers.

Typically younger women are the ones to bring failure to diagnose cervical cancer and breast cancer medical malpractice lawsuits. The American Cancer Guidelines tell doctors to look for cancer primarily in older women. If a woman is 21 years or older she is supposed to get a pap smear every year and if she is 30 years and older with 3 normal Pap Smears in a row, screening for cervical cancer can be made every 2 to 3 years. With breast cancer, women are to start getting regular mammograms when they turn 40 so doctors do not routinely give mammograms to women in their 20s and 30s. Unfortunately younger women in their twenties are the ones most likely to suffer from a late diagnosis for breast cancer or cervical cancer.

Levine stated, “Failure to diagnose cervical cancer and breast cancer is more common than you would think. The truth is that the early signs and symptoms are very slight for these cancers so women might not pay close attention and due to the patient's age doctors might not think cancer screening is necessary.”

It is encouraged for women to do self breast exams, but if younger women detect irregularities in their breasts usually no mammogram is taken because younger women have denser breast tissue so technicians and physicians do not get a good reading from mammograms done on younger women. Usually breast and reproductive issues in younger women are resolved without invasive medical treatment. However increasingly there are malignant cancers that are not being found in younger women and the lack of screening is a possible reason for this occurrence.

It is important for women to act as their own advocates when they go to the doctor. In the case of breast cancer and cervical cancer, a woman must know her family history and communicate it to the treating physician. Significant factors for breast cancer and cervical cancer include a family history of breast or cervical cancer in an immediate family member such as a mother or a sister. A woman is at higher risk for breast and cervical cancer if she has never given birth to a child. The woman needs to make sure her doctor documents her family history because specialists and other physicians will know that there is a heightened risk for breast cancer or cervical cancer and should effectively screen for it.

A patient's chance of survival is directly linked to how early his cancer is diagnosed; failure to diagnose cervical cancer and breast cancer in an early stage may require the patient to undergo more aggressive and painful cancer treatment than would otherwise be necessary. Certainly, a patient's prognosis worsens when cancer is not diagnosed in the early stages. Documentation concerning risk factors and family history are essential for early detection of breast cancer and cervical cancer.

Levine advises women to be proactive about seeking screening for cancer. Sadly some women do not speak up and insist on screening. Sometimes it is because the woman is timid or embarrassed about intimate exams. Other times money and insurance can play a significant factor because some insurance policies do not cover multiple screenings. When in doubt get a second opinion. It is better to definitely rule out cancer then to let it grow and spread.

Lisa Levine is a partner at the law firm Levine & Glassman, P.A. The firm represents clients in Broward County, Fort Lauderdale, Weston, Miami, Palm Beach, Hialeah, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood and Boca Raton in cases that involve personal injury, medical malpractice, auto accidents, catastrophic injuries, and general negligence.

Lisa Levine is a dedicated personal injury attorney who advocates legal matters involving women health issues. She regularly handles cases involving misdiagnosis of breast or uterine cancer in women. Lisa Levine has received national recognition for her work from a variety of news programs like ABC's Good Morning America, the John Walsh Show, and NBC News. She has also been mentioned in The Sun Sentinel, The Miami Herald, and the Daily Business Review.

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