The Cost of Misdiagnosed Breast Cancer

pink bandsAny type of cancer misdiagnosis is not just a traumatic experience for a patient, but also results higher treatment and hospitalization costs. And according to a new report, such cases cost the American healthcare system more than ever imagined.

According to the research, the costs of misdiagnosis of breast cancer are much higher than earlier believed. The study, which was published by the journal Health Affairs recently, found that false-positive mammograms cost the American economy $4 billion in healthcare costs every year. Apart from false-positive mammograms, cases involving over-diagnosed breast cancer also contributed to these huge expenses.

The findings of the report are interesting and very important, because they come at a time when there is concern over the perceived overuse of mammograms.These statistics are also important in light of the fact that breast cancer is the second biggest cause of cancer-related fatalities among American women. Women who get mammograms are able to catch the disease in its early stages, and may have a much higher chance of recovery.

The American Cancer Society recommends that women above the age of 40 begin getting annual screenings for breast cancer as soon as they reach the age of 40. In 2009, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommended that women between the age of 50 and 74 get screened every two years.

While a false positive result can mean tremendous emotional and financial harm to a patient, women may begin to receive treatment and may also lose income during the period of unnecessary treatment for a condition that doesn’t exist. However, a woman who receives a false negative result may suffer from a gamut of emotions, including depression and anxiety, and might also experience life-threatening delays in treatment.  The other type of misdiagnosis – failing to identify signs of cancer in time – can also be devastating for the patient, even more so because the woman may not receive the timely treatment that she needs to beat the cancer.

If you or someone you know has suffered a wrong diagnosis of breast cancer, speak with an Indiana medical malpractice attorney at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP immediately.