When it comes to a person in Newton and throughout the U.S. facing breast cancer, the detection of the disease and start of treatment are keys to whether or not the patient will have a better chance of survival. When it is due to a negligent physician and a failure to diagnose cancer resulting in the delayed treatment, there is a missed opportunity for the patient and the patient’s family to try and seek treatment and an extended life. A study from Ohio State University designed to determine the importance of faster treatment showed that those who waited were more at risk of an earlier death.

The study showed that women who waited more than two months before receiving treatment for their breast cancer were at an increased danger of death than those who were treated shortly after they received their diagnosis. One of the leaders of the study stated that the intent of the study was to gather information as to whether delaying treatment had a significant affect on the outcome. If the disease was detected early and treatment was provided, the five-year survival rate of the patient can rise to as much as 98 percent.

The study used 1,786 women who were using North Carolina Medicaid and received a diagnosis of breast cancer between Jan. 2000 through the end of 2002. The data was followed up at the end of July 2006. Ninety percent of the women began treatment within two months. Sixty six percent began within one month. The survival rates between these women were consistent. For every 10 women in the study, one began treatment after two months. Those whose breast cancer was advanced had a risk of death 85 percent higher than those who were treated earlier. There was an overall risk of death at 66 percent in comparison with those who were treated earlier.

While the study was intended to look at women whose financial situation dictated their inability to receive care, the information is also valuable if patients were not diagnosed in a timely fashion. Those who suffered a worsened condition and the families of those who died after not being diagnosed with breast cancer early enough for effective treatment need to understand their rights. With misdiagnosis, the damage can be severe. Those harmed should discuss their case with a legal professional experienced with a failure to diagnose cancer.

Source: Cancer.OSU.edu, “Delayed Treatment for Advanced Breast Cancer Has ‘Profound Effect’,” Nov. 21, 2012