Breast cancer is a pervasive and widespread disease, with 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer estimated to occur in 2022 among women (and 2,710 among men) in the United States in 2022, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Almost 44,000 people will die annually as a result.
And the incidence of breast cancer has been on the increase every year since 2005, a fact perhaps attributable to an increase in body weight among American women along with other factors.
But as dire as that sounds, great strides have been made in lowering the number of people who die from the disease.
According to the most recent data available cited by the ACS, the breast cancer mortality rate decreased by 42 percent between 1989 and 2019. One estimate puts the number of lives saved at 431,800 over that 30-year period. And the Surveillance Research Program conducted by the National Cancer Institute estimates the breast cancer mortality among women has dropped by about one percent each year since 2013.
In total, the ACS notes there are currently more than four million breast cancer survivors in the United States and it says that most will live for many years.
While hardly a cure, this is good news. And the reason for many more women and men – men have a much lower mortality rate, 0.3 deaths per 100,000 to 19.4 per 100,000 for women -- surviving breast cancer is due largely to two factors: early detection and improved breast cancer treatment.
Unfortunately, despite more women undergoing regular testing and learning sooner if they have breast cancer, the medical profession is not without error. In some cases, misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis occurs. This results in cancer being discovered and treated later than it should have been and lower rates of survival.
Kline & Specter attorneys have, unfortunately, litigated a number of such cases. And while it is sometimes too late to save the life of a breast cancer victim due to an error by a doctor or other health care provider or technician, compensation may be warranted.
In one case, Tom Kline proved that a clerical mistake between a physician and a company providing mammography services allowed a patient’s breast cancer to go undetected for eight months, resulting in the patient’s eventual death. A jury in that case awarded a $33.1 million verdict.
In another, a jury found that a doctor had misread a mammogram, missing key signs of cancer, and awarded $3 million to the family of the deceased patient, a wife and mother of four children.
With more than 50 attorneys, five of them also doctors – the most of any firm in the nation – Kline & Specter has the experience and expertise to litigate breast cancer misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis cases. The law firm has offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York and works with local attorneys in other states as applicable.