Women’s Health: The Importance of Being Proactive



Women may feel that they are too busy caring for their children, aging parents, spouses, and friends to properly take care of themselves. However, it’s crucial for women to be their own advocates for their healthcare. Schedule a well-visit exam with your primary care physician and your gynecologist every year.  Those visits are key opportunities to ask your doctor questions about your health and medical conditions. Be proactive by asking about the types of preventive healthcare screenings you should have. Taking proactive measures can help you avoid problems such as medical injuries and errors.

Unfortunately, avoidable medical errors happen every single day in hospitals and doctors’ offices across the country. Breast cancer misdiagnosis or late diagnoses are avoidable mistakes. Ask questions, speak up if you have concerns, and don’t take anyone’s word simply because they are a medical professional. Medical professionals are held to higher standards of care than other professionals, due to their advanced training and licensing. Issues such as misreading radiology scans or x-rays may give patients grounds for a lawsuit. When it comes to breast cancer, doctors who do not order necessary testing, such as a sonogram or mammogram, may be held legally liable should there be a failure to timely diagnose a woman’s breast cancer.

Diagnostic errors don’t always apply to missed or late diagnoses, but also to the staging of cancers.  In fact, misdiagnosis and late diagnosis can happen at different points during your medical treatments. Sometimes mammograms,sonograms, or digital films may not be read properly.  In other cases, the results of a biopsy may not be tested appropriately and/or reported correctly leading to improper treatment.

Because early treatment is so crucial for breast cancer patients, a missed diagnosis or a delayed diagnosis can result in more invasive treatments, significant quality-of-life issues, and can even lead to loss of life that may have been prevented with earlier intervention.

Patients often seek the advice of doctors when they notice a serious issue. These same doctors are often in the position to diagnose the cancer early during routine check-ups. If they notice abnormalities, these trusted physicians are expected to order further testing or procedures. Failing to properly read a mammogram can be a serious mistake that may lead to delayed treatment of cancer. A recent study of medical malpractice claims found that radiologists were sued more frequently for failing to diagnose breast cancer than any other ailment.

If you feel that your doctor is rushing through your appointment, or disregarding your concerns do not hesitate to shop around for a new doctor. Many medical malpractice cases are born of the doctor’s failure to diagnose a problem. Taking proactive measures for your health can help you avoid problems such as medical injuries and other forms of medical malpractice. As a patient, it is important to be proactive about your care.

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