Going to the doctor shouldn't be an experience to fear. In fact, those Albuquerque residents who go see a medical professional should feel better by either figuring out that there isn't anything wrong with them, or by obtaining effective treatment that soothes their symptoms and, perhaps, cures their ailment. Although this is what happens in most cases, sometimes medical professionals make mistakes that leave patients in harm's way. This can occur in a variety of ways, but perhaps one of the most worrisome is when a doctor fails to diagnose a medical condition.
One potentially fatal illness is breast cancer. When caught early, breast cancer oftentimes can be effectively treated. However, effective treatment requires an accurate and timely diagnosis. Breast cancer can be diagnosed in many ways. The most common way is through a mammogram, which occurs when a breast is subjected to an X-ray. This test can identify any abnormalities in the breast's tissue, which can then be further analyzed for cancerous cells.
Although mammograms are the most common breast cancer-detecting tests, there are others. An ultrasound, for example, can be used to obtain images of deep tissue within the breast. This test can help a medical professional determine whether a lump is filled with fluid or solid, thereby giving him or her a clearer picture of whether or not it may be cancerous. A MRI test may produce similar results. Ultimately, though, suspicious lumps are subjected to biopsy, where a piece of the tissue is removed and sent to the laboratory for further analysis.
Despite having so many diagnostic options available to them, far too many medical professionals either fail to order appropriate testing or accurately read test results. When this happens, a patient can suffer from a worsened condition. In the most tragic cases, these patients are unable to recover from their progressed cancer. When death results from medical malpractice, surviving family members may want to consider pursuing a wrongful death claim in hopes of recovering their damages.