blog home Medical Law October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Renee Nordstrand on October 12, 2017

pink breast cancer awareness ribbon

To encourage breast cancer awareness, St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Camarillo, California, is holding its 8th annual “Breast Symposium” on October 14th.

While it may seem like “awareness” of such a widely discussed topic is unnecessary, it is vital that people take every precaution to fight breast cancer. Besides lung cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among women in the U.S., and the death rate is second only to lung cancer.

The good news, however, is that death rates have been decreasing for nearly 30 years thanks to treatment advances, increased awareness, and early detection by regular screening. Both men and women need to take the first step and get tested. It could save your life.

Risks and Genetic Factors

An estimated 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in their lives. A woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with breast cancer: a mother, sister, or daughter. With that in mind, however, about 85% of breast cancers occur in women with no family history of breast cancer, due to genetic mutation rather than anything inherited. African-American women, in particular, have a higher risk than any other ethnicity.

Men are not immune from this disease. In 2017, the American Cancer Society estimates that about 2,470 new invasive cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in men and 460 men will die from breast cancer.

Improvements in Treatment and Detection

Incidence rates of breast cancer have been on the decline since 2000. (They had been increasing for the two decades leading up to that.) In addition, death rates due to breast cancer have been decreasing since 1989. This is largely thought to be due to reduced use of hormone replacement therapy since 2000, and greater awareness and early detection.

Medical Malpractice and Misdiagnosis

Much like with other forms of cancer, early detection is vital to effective treatment. That means that women not only need to be involved in checking themselves, but must also rely on doctors to screen for breast cancer. With that in mind, doctors need to properly read the results of tests to make sure they give an accurate diagnosis, since it can honestly mean the difference between life and death.

When a doctor fails to make the proper diagnosis using the information he or she has, then it can be a case of medical malpractice.

If you or a loved one has been misdiagnosed or suffered due to medical malpractice, please call us today at NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022 and tell us about what happened. We are personal injury lawyers with extensive experience in similar cases, and we offer a free consultation.

Posted in: Medical Law