What Does Stage 0 Mean For Breast Cancer?
Many people are familiar with the higher stages when it comes to understanding the progression of cancer, so it might be surprising to learn that there is actually a Stage 0 for breast cancer. The National Breast Cancer Foundation explains that this level is also termed “carcinoma in situ” for the fact that the abnormal cells remain in the original location and have not spread. Stage 0 breast cancer is highly treatable, but it can spread into the surrounding tissue if not properly diagnosed and treated.
As such, a prompt, accurate diagnosis is critical to catch cancer at the point where treatment can be most effective. There can be challenges with diagnosing so early, but the fact that a Stage 0 exists is proof that it is possible to detect breast cancer. A Miami cancer malpractice attorney can explain legal remedies if you have concerns, and there are some general points to note.
Breast Cancer Staging
All Stage 0 cancers go by the term “carcinoma in situ,” but there are three possible types with breast cancer:
- Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), in which the abnormal cells are in the lining of the breast milk duct
- Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), where the cancer is only found in the breast lobules
- Paget disease of the nipple, a rare form of cancer that affects the nipple and areola
Medical professionals may not even use the term “cancer” with respect to these conditions, preferring to call them abnormal cells. However, there is the risk that the cells will spread beyond the duct or lobule.
How Diagnosis Errors Affect Stage 0 Breast Cancer
In many cases of Stage 0 cancer, the best form of care is monitoring the abnormal cells frequently for changes. Some physicians may order hormone therapy that slows the progression of cancerous cells. Unfortunately, neither of these strategies can be carried out unless health care providers issue a proper, timely diagnosis.
At the same time, there is also a risk of false-positive diagnosis with breast cancer. If a physician errors with staging, the patient may undergo severe, harsh treatment. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery may not be necessary.
Time Limitations on Cancer Malpractice Claims
Florida’s statute of limitations applies to medical malpractice cases, so you have two years to file a lawsuit in court. The clock starts to run on the date the act of malpractice occurred, and you are barred from recovering compensation if the deadline expires. You can get additional time under the discovery rule if you did not find out about the negligent act right away, up to four years in total.
Consult with a Florida Cancer Malpractice Lawyer About Your Options
A proper diagnosis is critical with any medical condition and knowing your breast cancer was detected at Stage 0 gives you an advantage with timing. If you have concerns about the treatment you received, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. We can schedule a complimentary case review at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers, FL. Once we assess your situation, we can advise you on legal remedies for cancer malpractice.