Treatment and Screening Guidelines for Breast Cancer
If breast cancer is not detected early and treated, it may progress and result in a need for more extensive treatment or a worse outcome. Accordingly, it can be important to conduct screening. Guidelines for screening and treatment can vary significantly based on age and risk factors. For instance, women who are ages 40 to 44 can commence annual breast cancer screenings with mammograms if they want. Women who are age 55 and older can continue the annual exams, or switch to mammograms every two years, with screenings continuing as long as a woman is expected to live for 10 or more years. Treatment can include chemotherapy, surgery, hormonal therapy, radiation therapy, and biological therapy. Doctors may work together to screen or treat breast cancer. For instance, a primary care physician may refer you to an oncologist, who in turn may be responsible for requesting additional imaging and staging for your breast cancer, and you may need treatment by a surgeon or radiation oncologist. In some cases, a clear mistake is made regarding screening and treatment by a single doctor, who should bear full responsibility. However, it is also possible that the professional negligence of multiple doctors and entities combined to result in harm to a breast cancer patient, which is why it is important to retain an expert on the professional standard of care for breast cancer patients.Liability for Breast Cancer Malpractice in Upstate New York
To establish breast cancer malpractice based on your doctor’s failure to abide by treatment or screening guidelines, our seasoned attorneys will need to prove: (1) you were owed a professional standard of care, (2) the professional standard of care was breached, (3) the breach caused your injuries, and (4) actual damages resulted. In New York, the professional standard is determined by looking at what a reasonably competent doctor who has the same type of practice as your doctor and practices in the same region would do when faced with similar or the same circumstances.
We will need to file a certificate of merit with the complaint that we file on your behalf to commence the litigation. This certificate attests that we consulted with a licensed doctor, and, based on the consultation, we believe that your case is meritorious.
We may need to retain experts to testify on what the professional standard of care was, given the circumstances, how your doctor breached this standard, and causation. However, we may also need to retain experts on the question of damages. For instance, we may need an economic expert to testify as to your life expectancy or a vocational rehabilitation expert to provide an opinion about how your injuries from the failure to diagnose or treat your cancer affected your ability to work.Damages
If we can establish that your harm was caused by a physician's failure to abide by the professional standard of care for treating and screening breast cancer, we may be able to recover compensatory damages. These may be made up of both economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses include out-of-pocket costs, medical bills, and lost wages. Non-economic losses include pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, emotional distress, mental anguish, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life. The type and amount of damages available to you will depend on the severity of your losses. While economic losses may be fairly stable, regardless of who represents you, non-economic losses can vary dramatically based on who represents you and the composition of the jury that hears your case.Retain Seasoned Counsel for Your Cancer Malpractice Lawsuit
If you were harmed by your Upstate New York doctor’s departure from treatment and screening guidelines for breast cancer, you should talk to the seasoned medical malpractice lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We represent injured patients and their families in Syracuse, Rochester, Wampsville, Oswego, Lyons, Cooperstown, Oneida, Auburn, Binghamton, Canandaigua, Ithaca, Watertown, Elmira, Utica, Herkimer, and Lowville. Call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 315-479-9000 or complete our online form.