Women are at risk for several unique kinds of cancer, but specific screening guidelines are in place to catch these diseases before it’s too late. Discovering cancer early will increase your chance of successful treatment, but not everyone gets the right answer.
One-third of diagnostic errors in cancer cases lead to death or permanent disability. This means that even when you do everything by the book, you could still pay an enormous price if your physician comes up short. The hardships you face in light of someone else’s failings could lead to compensation.
Your age and risk factors will help determine when you should seek screenings, and the American Cancer Society provides some general guidelines for testing windows:
- Breast cancer: Regular screenings could begin when you’re 40 years old, and your situation may dictate the frequency as you age. Factors like family history can play a large part in determining how often you should seek testing.
- Cervical cancer: You may want to begin checking for cervical cancer as young as 21 years old, with the possibility for complimentary tests. Skin-to-skin contact with someone who has the human papillomavirus is the main risk indicator for this type of disease.
- Ovarian cancer: Though possible at any age, those who are older are at higher risk. While not everyone needs ongoing testing, you might be at an increased risk if you haven’t had children or have used hormone replacement therapy.
Failing the test
Accurate testing when you fall into the prescribed categories is essential, and your physician could be to blame if they fail you in some fundamental ways:
- Failing to recommend testing when you fall into an at-risk category
- Ordering the wrong tests based on your situation
- Missing details or misreading the results of your screenings
If your physician failed to live up to reasonable expectations and you’re paying the price, it could be time to pursue a medical malpractice claim. Make sure you know when your care doesn’t meet acceptable standards, and you could be on your way to recovery.