BREAST CANCER MISDIAGNOSIS/DELAYED DIAGNOSIS
How Do Doctors Misdiagnose Breast Cancer in a Woman Who Finds a Breast Lump?
A doctor can misdiagnosis breast cancer when they fail to evaluate a palpable breast lump, thereby causing a delay in diagnosis and treatment. The doctor can be an obstetrician or gynecologist, a family practitioner, an internist, a general surgeon, or a radiologist.
For women who are 30 years old and younger or who are pregnant or lactating and who notices a new breast lump, the recommendation is that they have an ultrasound initially. If there are suspicious findings on the ultrasound, a biopsy should be done and/or diagnostic mammography (DM) (see image) or digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) (known as 3-D mammography). If the findings are probably benign, there should be ultrasound or DM/DBT short term follow-up. If findings are negative, there should still be a clinical follow-up. For pregnant or lactating women, DM/DBT should be considered even after a negative ultrasound.
For women who are older than 30 who discover a new breast lump, DM or DBT should be done initially. If clearly benign on DM, clinical follow-up is appropriate. If DM is negative or imaging is not clearly benign or is suspicious, targeted ultrasound should be directed to the palpable area.
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