A new study of approximately 174,000 Dutch women refutes the conventional wisdom that states there is no correlation between time of detection and breast cancer survivability. The study indicates that while the size, type and location of diagnosed cancers remains the most definitive predictor of breast cancer patients' longevity post-diagnosis. early detection and active treatment plays a key role in increasing long-term survival rates.
The findings contradict a popular notion among oncologists, cancer awareness and research charities and the lay public that early diagnosis plays no clearly definable role in the prognosis for survival amongst breast cancer patients. Many proponents of this idea cite the notion that mammography is not a reliable tool for positively identifying breast cancer. Misdiagnosis of cancer as to presence, severity and type has prompted many healthcare professional to look to other factors such as presence or absence in the lymph nodes as key survivability indicators.
The study was conducted among two groups of women in the Netherlands, those who had breast cancer diagnosed between 1999 and 2005 and those who had their diagnoses between 2006 and 2012. The latter group, in which earlier detection was more emphasized, indicated faster diagnosis at lower levels and an upswing in less invasive therapies including hormone supplements. However, tumor size and lymph node involvement both adversely affected study participants' anticipated and actual longevity. To date, the media has largely deferred to conventional wisdom and ignored the study's findings.
A delayed diagnosis of breast cancer can cause the affected patient serious harm. A woman who finds herself in this position may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to determine if any recourse for obtaining compensation is available.