Most Pennsylvania residents at some point in their lives have given a blood sample during a routine doctors visit or to identify the potential cause of what afflicts them. When blood is drawn from a patient for clinical laboratory analysis, most patients have faith in the medical institutions and believe that acceptable laboratory practices will be followed and that the results will be adequately interpreted.
However, despite all the advances in medical sciences and all the extensive training that medical professionals and laboratory personnel receive, any Philadelphia malpractice lawyer will agree that medical mistakes happen. Pennsylvania residents may find it intriguing to learn that a recent study which was published in Medical New Today discovered that the typical manner in which physicians tend to identify or classify tumors of the breast has several limitations. These limitations can lead not only to an incorrect interpretation of the results but also limit the treatment patients may have received. The failure to adequately detect cancer could lead to the spread of the disease.
According to reports, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in women and is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. In fact, one in eight women will likely end up with an invasive form of breast cancer. Given these dire statistics, classifying and categorizing breast cancer is very important, particularly to ensure that treatment is not delayed and the disease is not spread.
In the study, researchers re-tested samples of tumors from over 500 patients to determine if the original classification of the cancer was correct. It was found that about four percent of the samples had been incorrectly classified. According to one researcher, this misclassification of the breast cancer was clearly a problem since those patients did not get the proper treatment for their cancer. One potential reason for the error was that the labs that initially tested the samples used only one of the approved methods rather than both of them.
Medical and clinical sciences are not perfect, but despite efficacious clinical methods, sometimes they may not be utilized and a patient may suffer harm due to delayed treatment. For anyone who believes that they or a family member have suffered harm due to a healthcare provider’s failure to detect cancer, they may want to consult with a legal professional familiar with medical malpractice cases for more information.
Source: Medical News Today, “Cancer testing mistakes lead to patients missing out on treatment,” James McIntosh, June 20, 2014