When you go to get testing to identify cancer or to confirm a diagnosis, it’s important that the person performing the test is adequately trained. They should be able to recognize the appearance of cancer on an X-ray, ultrasound, computerized tomography scan, magnetic resonance imaging scan or another type of test. Failing to perform the test correctly or being unable to read the test correctly could lead to a delayed or missed diagnosis.
To diagnose cancer, radiologists look for a few things. First, they want to note if there are any unusual masses. Second, they look for calcifications. Then, they look at any previous tests to see if there are significant changes. The exact markings or changes they look for depends on the kind of cancer is suspected.
There are a few ways that a radiologist could miss a diagnosis. The first is by not getting a good image. For instance, if the image is too high or low, they may miss a portion of the body where cancer is more likely to be. It’s always important for the test orders to be clear and to be followed closely.
After that, another issue is that they could identify spots on the test as microcalcifications or benign issues that don’t require a further biopsy. This is particularly common with mammogram misdiagnoses.
Finally, there is the reality that some people are not trained as well as others, and they may not recognize cancer when it’s presenting in the imaging. All three of these issues could lead to a missed or delayed diagnosis, which could impact your care.
If you suffered from a delayed or missed diagnosis of cancer, it may be time to speak to an attorney.