Breast cancer cases are generally broken down into cases in which there has been a failure to appropriately screen for breast cancer and those cases in which a physician fails to act upon symptomology that the patient may have which is consistent with breast cancer.
The cases involving failure to screen are those cases in which the physician fails to recommend that a patient have mammography on a regular basis. Physicians often recommend that a patient over 40 years of age without any history of any type of breast cancer have yearly mammography so as to screen for breast cancer.
On the other hand patients sometimes will go to a physician with symptomology consistent with breast cancer that can include having a lump in the breast, which can include having discharge from the nipple, dimpling of the breast, those are all potential signs of breast cancer. And if a physician does not act on that appropriately, in other words does not work the patient up to find out if in fact they have breast cancer that can be medical negligence.
One other area of breast cancer cases that we often see are those cases in which a physician appropriately orders the test, in other words a mammography to determine if in fact there is breast cancer, but it is misinterpreted or read inappropriately by the radiologist who is interpreting that mammography. That is another form of a failure to diagnose breast cancer that we handle at O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble.