Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis can be devastating, particularly when the diagnosis comes too late for the most effective treatment options to be administered. In these cases, a breast cancer patient may have the right to file a claim against the negligent physician. If this has happened to you, get help from our Indianapolis breast cancer misdiagnosis attorney. A legal case may bring little solace when facing a frightening breast cancer diagnosis, but justice must be served, and it can be important that you recover compensation for the significant damages when a case of breast cancer remained undetected for too long.
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women, according to the American Cancer Society. In 2015, it is estimated that 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed, and close to 40,290 women will lose the fight with breast cancer.
Tips for Catching Breast Cancer Early
To many women, the threat of breast cancer is something they live with every day. Even if you have not been diagnosed, you may be wondering how to detect the signs so that breast cancer can be caught early enough for treatment to be effective.
Here are a few helpful tips which may allow you to spot breast cancer before it’s too late:
- Conduct routine at-home breast exams.
- Make yourself aware of any hereditary predisposition to breast cancer by discussing it with relatives.
- See your doctor for annual checkups and breast exams.
- Seek medical attention if you notice any lumps, knots, thickening, swelling or abnormalities in the tissue on your breasts. Changes in size or shape may also be an indication of cancer.
- Get routine mammograms once you’ve reached the age of 40, or earlier if other women in your family have developed breast cancer.
Breast Density and Its Relation to Cancer
Mammograms are a key tool that doctors use to measure breast density, or the portions of different tissues that make up a woman’s breasts. A dense breast cannot necessary be determined by how a woman’s breasts feel. Density is more about the amount of connective tissue as compared to fat.
A dense breast mammogram is a good indication that a women will get breast cancer. According to Susan G. Komen, it is estimated that women who have a dense breast mammogram are between four and five times more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Talk to your doctor to find out if you have dense breasts and how that might effect your chances for having breast cancer in the future, special imaging is also available for dense breasts.
How to Give an At-Home Breast Exam
While mammograms and other medical technology is often key in diagnosing breast cancer, it is important women are familiar with performing an at-home breast exam. This can help detect early signs of breast cancer, and seeking early treatment if the cancer if then found in breast tissue. Breastcancer.org recommends you:
Self Exam | Stand in front of a mirror, undressed from the waist up.
Look at your breasts with your shoulders straight and arms on your hips.
Look for noticeable changes in size, shape, or position.
Check to see if your breast are evenly shaped with no odd skin texture, color or distortion.
See if any fluid is coming out of one or both nipples.
Place your arms above your head and look for any of those changes. Then, lay down with one arm raised above behind your head.
With a circular motion, using your fingers from the other hand, feel your breasts for any lumps or abnormalities.
Cover the entire breast top to bottom, and side to side. Go all the way from your armpit to the center of your chest.
*Do the other side using the opposite hand.
Women should also check their breasts in the same fashion while standing or sitting down. This can be done in or immediately following a shower.
An Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help
The Feel Your Boobies® Foundation encourages all women to “feel your boobies” and remind a friend to do the same.We understand the devastation women face when getting a breast cancer diagnosis, particularly when the diagnosis was missed or unnecessarily delayed by the medical professional with whom you’ve entrusted your health care.
If your doctor failed to diagnose your breast cancer in the early stages, contact the medical malpractice lawyers at Baker and Gilchrist right away for a free legal consultation. Our firm has three attorneys, one of whom is a nurse. We also have two other trained nurses on staff, and we are exceptionally qualified to serve you in this difficult time.