Is Delayed Breast Cancer Diagnosis Medical Malpractice?

If a doctor fails to diagnose breast cancer in a timely manner, is that considered medical malpractice? Nancy Winkler is a partner at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C based in Philadelphia. In this Quick Question, she explains that failure to diagnose breast cancer could be considered medical malpractice if the patient significantly suffers due to the delay.

Rob Rosenthal:
I’m Rob Rosenthal with Here’s a Quick Question: when does a delayed diagnosis of breast cancer qualify as medical malpractice? Philadelphia attorney Nancy Winkler has this answer.

Nancy Winkler:
A delay in diagnosing breast cancer can be malpractice if it significantly increases the harm to the woman. For example, if a woman has a mammogram and it’s suspicious and a biopsy is not done promptly. Or for example, if she has a mammogram, and nobody says that they need to do a biopsy, and six months, a year go by. And what was initially in that mammogram as a one-centimeter mass has now become a three- or four-centimeter mass and there’s a difference in the stage of her cancer, which could mean a difference in her chances of overall survival and it has impacted her chances of survival.

Then it is potentially a malpractice claim that needs to be investigated.

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