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Avoiding a Misdiagnosis... Trying to Detect Breast Cancer

The numbers are scary; there's simply no other way to put it. Breast cancer continues to take a terrible toll on women's lives and their families.

In 2015, nearly 300,000 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed, of which over 230,000 were invasive breast cancer (cancer that spreads from the milk duck to surrounding breast tissue and then sometimes throughout the body). That same year, over 40,000 women died from breast cancer, making it the second most lethal cancer in women, behind only lung cancer.

As with any cancer, early detection is critical in prolonging survival. Unfortunately, diagnosing breast cancer in its earliest stages can be challenging, and there are often errors and disagreements over whether a suspicious area is benign or malignant.

While there aren't always clear signs and symptoms of breast cancer, self-examinations can often reveal potential trouble. In fact, it's estimated that nearly 70 percent of all breast cancers are found through self-examinations and that with early detection there is a five-year survival rate of 98 percent.

Some of the most common signs of breast cancer can include:

  • A lump or thickening
  • changes in the nipple
  • changes in the size or shape of the breast
  • Bloody discharge from the nipple 
  • Dimples on the breast
  • An inverted nipple

If you notice any of the above changes, you should immediately contact your doctor for further evaluation.

Despite all of the tremendous advances in screening for and detecting cancers, doctors and pathologists can - and do- make mistakes. If your breast cancer was misdiagnosed or you suffered from a delayed diagnosis, make plans to discuss your case with The Law Office of William J. Luse.


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