Most women never think to question their diagnosis of breast cancer. If your doctor tells you that you have breast cancer, you probably do.
But breast cancer is complicated and mystifying under a microscope, sometimes even for experienced pathologists, the specialist doctors who read and interpret tissue samples. To make a diagnosis between benign cells (noncancerous) and malignant cells (cancer) is much more complex than you would ever first imagine.
Because of this complexity, the pathology reports diagnosing breast cancer can be wrong. For example, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, found that about 1.4 percent of the time, a pathologist mistakenly diagnoses cancer, misidentifies the type of cancer, or misses a cancer totally. Even more common are pathologists’ errors that can significantly change the type of treatment patients receive. These errors can make a world of difference between receiving conservative treatments versus aggressive surgeries.
Find out more about this book:The 10 Best Questions for Surviving Breast Cancer: The Script You Need to Take Control of Your Health