What does a mammogram do?

Many residents of Kansas City, particularly women, who are of a certain age have probably been told to get a mammogram on a regular basis. While a mammogram is not a guarantee that a woman, or man for that matter, will not develop breast cancer, it can be a useful tool to detect the disease early.

Early detection can mean the difference between a person recovering from the disease and dying from the condition. However, just having the test done is not enough to ensure early detection. A doctor, usually a radiologist, will have to interpret the test results and, ultimately, make the diagnosis of breast cancer.

Naturally, those who have a mammogram expect the radiologist to do his or her job correctly and, especially since time is of the essence when it comes to treating the condition, as efficiently as possible. Judging by statistics, a belated diagnosis of breast cancer can cause serious injuries to patients particular for women in their forties who, but for the condition, would have a long life ahead of them. Therefore, it should come as little surprise that, when doctors negligently misinterpret a mammogram, settlements and verdicts are relatively large.

Overall, about 55% of all medical malpractice cases related to breast cancer either settle or wind up resolved in the patient’s favor. Of these, the typical verdict is just over $860,000, while the typical settlement is for than $1.1 million compensation.

There is a reason these numbers are so high. After all, a misdiagnosis of breast cancer can deprive a family not only of a loved one but also of the family’s livelihood. Additionally, even if a patient survives despite the mistake, she will likely have considerable additional medical expenses. A patient who feels that a doctor misdiagnosed her with breast cancer should consider speaking to an attorney about her options.