Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, where the major breast cancer charities hold their annual campaigns focused on increasing awareness of the disease through early detection, education and support services. Funds raised often support research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and hopefully cure of the disease.
According to BreastCancer.org about 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12.4%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2018, an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,960 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer. Breast cancer also affects men – about 2,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2018. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
The American Cancer Society recommends:
- Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so.
- Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
- Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years, or can continue yearly screening.
- Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.
- All women should be familiar with the known benefits, limitations, and potential harms linked to breast cancer screening.
Early detection, testing and screening are very important. It can greatly impact your treatment and prognosis. Unfortunately, for some patients, their cancer is misdiagnosed or failed to be diagnosed. You may be surprised to learn that misdiagnosis or failure to diagnosis is a frequent and leading cause for professional negligence and medical malpractice claims. Errors can be due to unskilled workforce or lack of training, misinterpreting test results, improper breast screening and more.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with breast cancer that you believe should have been diagnosed sooner, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney.