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What happens if breast cancer treatment is delayed?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2019 | Failure to Diagnose |

If a New York doctor diagnosed you or a loved one with breast cancer, it is imperative that you begin treatment right away. Failure to begin treatment as soon after diagnosis as possible may result in an increased risk that the cancer will spread, which means a reduced survival rate. If your doctor delays your treatment for reasons that are out of your control, do not take the delay lightly.

According to BreastCancer.org, delaying breast cancer treatment for any amount of time can result in worse outcomes. The article echoes several studies’ findings which show that delaying surgery by 30 days and chemotherapy by 90 days can lead to worse survival rates. One such study that the article refers to involved more than 24,000 women, all of whom had a diagnosis of between stage I and stage III breast cancer. Of the participants, 21 percent began chemotherapy within 30 days of diagnosis, half started chemotherapy within 31 to 60 days, 19.2 percent began treatment within 61 to 90 days and just 9.8 percent started treatment after 90 days. To determine the consequences of delayed treatment, researchers considered cases in which women began treatment after 90 days.

Compared to those patients who had surgery or began chemotherapy within 30 days of diagnosis, those who opted to begin treatment at day 91 or after were more likely to die from the condition. More patients in the latter group were also more likely to die from complications caused by the disease. However, doctors noted no difference between survival between women who started chemotherapy within 30 days of diagnosis and those who began treatment after 90 days. That said, those who started treatment later had a reduced survival rate of 53 percent. 

The material in this post is not meant to serve as legal advice. It is for learning purposes only.