October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Prevention and early detection is the key to surviving breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women with the exception of skin cancers, and the second cause of cancer deaths for women. If detected early, there is a 98 percent chance of a five-year survival. However, only approximately 22% of women are diagnosed early.
Although there are several risk factors that may increase your chance of developing breast cancer, including age, personal or family history, alcohol use, obesity and ethnic background, it is important to note that just because you may have a risk factor for breast cancer doesn’t mean you will contract the disease. There are some things you can do to lower your risk for developing breast cancer, such as eating healthy, exercising and limiting your alcohol consumption. However, early detection is key to surviving the disease.
So what can you do to assist in the early diagnosis of breast cancer?
- Get a mammogram. All women ages 40 and older should have an annual mammogram and clinical breast examination.
Women in their 20’s and 30’s should have a clinical breast exam at least once every three years.
Perform a monthly self-breast examination. For women ages 20 and older this must be a monthly routine.
Sometimes, even when you take all the proper measures to reduce your risks, a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of breast cancer by a medical professional can still occur. If you or a loved one has breast cancer, you should consider discussing your case with one of our skilled Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyers. At Rosen Louik & Perry our Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyers and staff can determine whether there has been either a failure to diagnosis or a delayed diagnosis of breast cancer. Our on-staff medical doctors know what questions to ask to quickly determine whether you or your loved one is the victim of medical malpractice. Contact our law firm today for your FREE consultation.