Breast cancer deaths have decreased by 39 percent between 1989 and 2015, according to a report by the American Cancer Society. While this is good news, the report also noted some racial disparities. For example, African-American women are 39 percent less likely to survive breast cancer than white women. It is a problem that affects Montana residents; although, the highest death rates among black women are in South Central states, Mid-Atlantic states, and California.
Some Montana patients have developed cancer in part of their mouth. Tongue cancer often forms in the squamous cells that cover the surface of two-thirds of the tongue. Cancer that forms in the remaining one-third of the tongue, which is located in the back of the tongue, is considered to belong to a group of neck or head cancers.
Physicians in Montana might fail to identify rare and potentially deadly diseases like osteosarcoma of the foot. Most cases of osteosarcoma afflict teenagers in other parts of the body, which adds to the difficulty of recognizing the malignant tumor within the foot. This form also typically strikes adults.
While any Montana resident who has a history of substantial sun exposure is at risk for developing squamous cell carcinomas, there are others who have an increased risk of developing the disease due to genetics. Further, those who have suffered from chronic skin infections in the past may also have an increased risk for squamous cell carcinomas.
Montana residents rely on their doctors to accurately diagnose their medical conditions and prescribe appropriate treatments, and they may pursue civil remedies by filing medical malpractice lawsuits when they are harmed due to the negligent behavior of their health care providers. One such case was resolved earlier in 2017 when a jury in Missouri awarded almost $29 million in damages to a woman who had been left permanently disabled because of a misdiagnosis.
With the fact that about 12 million people across the country experience diagnostic mistakes in outpatient care annually, according to the journal BMJ Quality & Safety, Montana patients who want a second medical opinion may enjoy telehealth and telemedicine services. This is a convenient way to communicate with physicians and has become increasingly popular.
Although in most cases it is not possible to sue the federal government, Montana patients who have been harmed by the negligence of an employee at a federally-funded medical facility may do so. This medical malpractice exception is contained in the Federal Tort Claims Act, although it is still not possible to collect punitive damages from the government.
Health care providers in Montana might have difficulty identifying sepsis in patients because its early symptoms are similar to other types of nonbacterial inflammation. Sepsis is a serious infection that can damage tissue and organs and cause death. Physicians and other health care staff should possess clear knowledge about the signs of sepsis so that potentially life-saving treatments can be initiated as soon as possible.
Busy emergency room doctors in Montana hospitals do not always have time to perform thorough patient evaluations, and they often rely on blood tests to diagnose acute kidney injuries. A large number of critically ill patients around the country are diagnosed with such an injury, but a study published by researchers from Columbia University suggests that many of these diagnoses could be inaccurate.
Montana residents who have been affected by cancer may know that the late diagnosis of the disease results in the suffering and early deaths of its victims. According to the World Health Organization, in order to prevent these outcomes, the push to have cancer detected early must be intensified.