On average, one of every eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point. Traditionally, tumors have been treated with a combination of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. They are often removed first with chemotherapy used to get rid of any cancer cells that may remain because the tumor may become resistant to chemotherapy if left in the body.
However, in a U.K. study, a combination of two drugs was shown to completely get rid of tumors in 11 percent of patients who used them. Another interesting finding was that it only took 11 days for the tumors to disappear completely. The drugs may also be beneficial because they are highly targeted and only kill the cancer cells. This may allow patients to avoid chemotherapy and the toll it takes on their bodies.
In another significant advancement, researchers from Cambridge Research Institute found that there were 93 genes that could cause normal breast cells to turn into cancer cells. This enhanced understanding may make it easier to create therapies tailored to an individual patient's needs. Detecting cancer may get easier as a blood test could replace mammograms that cause an incorrect diagnosis in 16 percent of cases. This means that a woman who doesn't have cancer could be diagnosed with it while someone who has it could be unaware of that fact.
The failure to diagnose cancer in a timely manner can lead to a spread of the disease to other parts of the patient's body, a delay in aggressive treatment and a worsened medical condition. Not every missed diagnosis, however, constitutes malpractice, and an attorney for a patient who has been harmed in this manner will need to demonstrate that such failure constituted a failure to exhibit the requisite standard of care.