Breast Cancer Detection and Malpractice

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling invalidating patents that a company had obtained on the human genes BRCA 1 and BRCA 2. These two genes are basically associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer risks. The company that had obtained the patents was called Myriad. They were attempting to stop other laboratories in the United States from providing genetic testing to patients, even when those laboratories were different and more comprehensive or even less expensive tests. Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., the Court held that a natural occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated. The same day the Supreme Court decision came out, five laboratories announced that they would be offering BRCA testing to patients. This is a good example of how new technology, with help from the Supreme Court, made it possible for large numbers of women to find out whether they have genetic mutations that increase their risk for breast cancer.

The key to successfully fighting breast cancer is early detection. Breast cancer symptoms can share the characteristics of other conditions, so proper testing by doctors is essential. Tests such as mammograms, ultrasounds or biopsies are commonly used by medical professionals for breast cancer detection. Many times doctors fail to even order these crucial tests. There are also situations where the proper tests are ordered, but the radiologist misreads the film or the pathologist misreads a slide causing a crucial delay in making the diagnosis. The delay in diagnosing cancer can lengthen the treatment, worsen the prognosis or can even be fatal. A delay can mean the difference between Stage I and Stage IV cancer, which can drop the survival rates by over 80%.

Our firm conducts exhaustive investigations and obtains the most qualified experts to bring the most comprehensive level of expertise to the breast cancer detection case. For example, when a doctor fails to diagnose breast cancer, we seek out and retain practicing breast cancer specialists who determine the full circumstances of the missed diagnosis. In the event of misread mammograms, we find expert radiologists who examine the films. If your breast cancer is undiagnosed by a doctor or is misdiagnosed, please contact one of our breast cancer attorneys to discuss your case free of charge.

For a free and confidential consultation, contact The O'Keefe Firm at 937-643-0600.

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