A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has identified a troubling trend occurring across the nation, including in North Carolina. Breast biopsy tissue is often misdiagnosed, resulting in incorrect and ineffective treatment plans. The study shows that incorrect diagnosis happens about half the time, and patients often receive treatment that is too aggressive for their true medical diagnosis. Other times, they receive a treatment plan that is not aggressive enough.
There were 240 biopsy specimens tested in the study by 115 pathologists. The results of the participants were compared to the conclusions made by three pathology experts. The study has received some criticism for being hosted in a pure research setting and not including some real-world scenarios that pathologists and other biopsy experts would have had access to in order to make conclusions. For example, many biopsy specialists would have been able to consult with other medical specialists before making a final conclusion regarding a diagnosis. This was not allowed in the research setting. No matter the criticism, the authors of the study point out that the findings highlight serious challenges faced by pathology experts with diagnosing specimens under a microscope.
Additionally, the findings of the study show the need for more training and education in diagnosing breast tissue biopsies. The study also shows that those who have received an initial diagnosis might want to consider a second opinion to gain a true diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.
For those who have been misdiagnosed with breast tissue malignancies and received inadequate or too aggressive treatment, the result can be medically and financially devastating. Consulting an attorney could be a wise option to know what legal remedies are offered under the law, and an attorney could help to recoup medical bills and lost wages.
Source: CBS Boston,"Study: Biopsy Specialists Frequently Misdiagnose Breast Tissue," Lindsey Tanner, March 17, 2015