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Topic: Suing previous radiologist for failure to diagnose?

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Posted on: Jan 9, 2014 09:28PM - edited Jan 10, 2014 05:08AM by jenlee

jenlee wrote:

Meant to include a question mark in the topic line:

"Suing previous radiologist for failure to diagnose/delayed diagnosis???"

I have been contemplating this for some time and was wondering what others think.  We're not a litigious family, but this has really been bothering me.  I was diagnosed with Stage II hormone positive breast cancer in October of 2011.  At the time, the radiologist who diagnosed me found an almost 4 cm tumor (IDC, grade 2, ER+) looked at the films from my previous mammogram and was shocked, saying, "I can't believe that nobody wanted to biopsy this!"  I remember after the previous mammogram, the radiologist told me that the lumps I was feeling were due to my fibrocystic breasts and the area of my concern was a "ridge."  The diagnosing radiologist in 2011 felt that this was a tumor that could have been caught much earlier.

So here I am, 2.25 years after diagnosis.  I was originally very upset that this was missed, but decided to focus on getting thru my treatment. I went thru approx. 6 months of TAC chemo and several stages of surgery.  I didn't have the energy to deal with this.  I'm finding that I'm still (very) bitter about the missed opportunity for an early diagnosis.  The doctors feel that a knee problem a year after diagnosis was related to chemo causing my bones to be brittle -- one day I flexed my knee because it felt stiff; immediately a section of the joint broke into large fragments that had to be surgically removed. After months of physical therapy, I now walk with an obvious limp.  I have alopecia on top and back of my head so still need to keep my head covered when I leave the house, so the large bald/sparse areas on top and back of my head don't show.  Wigs are just too hot because of the "chemopause," so I'm stuck with these stupid hats.  My previously extremely oily skin has never produced a single drop of moisture or oil since my second cycle of chemo, so my face is now full of wrinkles. My feet have been swollen since chemo and I can't fit into any of my shoes except sneakers or flip flops. I look like I'm about 70 yrs. old.  Prior to diagnosis, I weighed about 128 pounds and was in fantastic shape. but my MO and other doctors feel that my metabolism was disrupted by chemo, and I now weigh close to 160.  So I went from being a rather young looking fit 50 year old with long strawberry blonde hair to looking like a chunky half bald wrinkled 70 yr old.  I've become so self-conscious and socially awkward and avoid many events at my daughter's school and other areas of our lives, because I'm so incredibly uncomfortable with my appearance. (though had I known all of this, I hope that I would have still chosen chemo to increase my survival odds.)

My husband is self-employed, and during the first year of my treatment, he missed a lot of opportunities because he wanted to avoid traveling when I was home alone with my daughter, who was seven at the time, as well as needing to volunteer at her school, accompany me to surgeries, etc.   I took my daughter to school most days, but had a babysitter drive her to afternoon activities because I was too tired (& embarassed) to take her to ballet.  Since I decided against implants and chose flap surgery and no one in my area would perform the surgery on me because I allegedly didn't have enough body fat, I traveled to New Orleans for my surgery.  My husband flew there both times to drop me off, and again to pick me up.  There were airline and hotel expenses.  We also paid for my sister to fly in and stay with me in the hotel after surgery, plus reimbursed her for lost time from work.  We paid another babysitter to stay with us full time for several weeks after my stage 1 bilateral mastectomy surgery with flap reconstruction. My insurance hasn't covered everything that was expected, so we have had to pay a fair amount of money out of pocket.  I also saw an out of network therapist who specialized in dealing with helping people with depression, anxiety, and fear of major illnesses.  So the first year after diagnosis was ridiculously expensive, probably equivalent to at least a year or two of college for my daughter.  Because of insurance issues where my provider in New Orleans thought that everything would be covered and it wasn't, still waiting to see how that turns out.  So at the moment, I can't proceed with my final stage of reconstruction.  While it didn't bankrupt us, and I know that others have suffered thru much more financially (& physically & psychologically), it has caused us some financial worries at times.

I do worry excessively about my long term prognosis.  I've learned from these boards and from the BCO.org Facebook pages that my chances of survival with my type of cancer are substantially lower than my doctors have led me to believe.  If I don't survive until my daughter reaches college, my husband will have to pay for childcare or a driver for my daughter.  He won't travel as much for his job and will make less substantially less money, jeopardizing my daughter's education and his retirement.

So here's my dilemma.  Do I try really hard to move on and just be thankful to be alive? Or do I look into trying to recover damages from the doctor who misdiagnosed me.  I need to figure this out sooner rather than later, because of the statute of limitations.  I'm just not sure and would be grateful to hear what others think!

Jenifer, completed TAC x 8 on 4/24/2012. Lumpectomy on 5/23/2012. BMX & immediate DIEH stage 1 on 6/5/2012 NOLA; stage 2 surgery 10/4/12 NOLA. Tamoxifen since 6/2012. Switched to Arimidex 9/2013. Dx 10/20/2011, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 10, 2014 03:24AM gale1525 wrote:

Hi Jenlee, I considered suing the doctor who had two years prior to my diagnosis said after I had a mamo and ultra sound that she didn't want to do an MRI because it might open a can of worms. I did however consult a lawyer and he said the case would be based on if it could be proven that an earlier diagnosis would have made a difference. I didn't go through with it because I have ILC which is difficult to pick on Mamo's and it is also more of a slower growing type. If you would like the name of the lawyer p.m. me, we are both in Orange County.

I am very sorry for everything you are going through and have been through. I hope things will get better.


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Jan 10, 2014 03:34AM Srh242 wrote:

Please consult with a lawyer and if they think you have a case go ahead and do it. Also youcan take this doctor to the medical board. We have to stop this misdiagnosis madness. I too was misdiagnosed and while pregnant ! . Good luck,


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Jan 10, 2014 12:33PM DivineMrsM wrote:

Since you raise many questions, you should consult with a lawyer.  It will ease your mind, even if the lawyer says, no, there's not a case here.  If you do nothing, you run the risk of always wondering "what if."  It may take some of your time and energy, but keeping it all bottled up inside of you takes a different kind of energy.  I think by getting a lawyer's opinion and insight, it will help you begin to find some answers you're looking for.  

I was diagnosed with ILC after a decade of yearly mammos.  When I found the lump and follow up testing, I was already at stage iv. So much for early detection thru mammography.  The lump was about three inches long and I found it one week after the mammo. I feel like the pressure on the breast from the mammo made the lump finally 'come out of hiding', altho they say that mammos don't do that.  There is a lot of misinformation out there about what mammos are capable of, and it leads to a false sense of positiveness.  

Good luck on you decision.  

found lump 12/22/10~er+/pr+/her2- stage iv bone mets~chemo~lumpectomy~radiation~arimidex~ "The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places."
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Jan 10, 2014 03:59PM - edited Jan 10, 2014 04:08PM by peggy_j

jenlee, sorry to hear you're going through this. I agree with others that you may want to meet with a lawyer to get professional input. I find referrals are best. If you don't have one, your local California Bar Association usually has a referral program, and often the first-time appointment is at a reduced cost (vs. their usual $300/hr rate, or whatever).  As someone else said, even if they make the case that it should have been detected earlier, the question might be: what additional damages did you have? It's very likely your MO would have recommended chemo anyway, or at least suggested it as an option. (my biopsy was 8 mm and grade 2 and all the docs warned me that I'd probably need chemo, in part because I was so young, under 50. So I think the doctor's lawyers would make that argument). If you (or a friend) want to read more on the legal issues, I recommend the NOLO press's book on personal injury law. It's probably in your public library.

I found that cancer Dx, Tx and post-Tx adjustment are all traumatic, esp. at a young age. It really changes your world. Regardless of your decision (or the outcome) of the legal case, the emotional issues are real and probably won't be completely resolved by a judgement. Plus the legal process takes time and may be emotionally wrenching too. Do you have access to any additional support? My local cancer support center offers free counseling and support groups. I also go to a Guided Imagery Group for cancer patients and it's been great. You don't need to be in active treatment to go. I still go and I'm three years post-Dx. There's one woman who comes who is a 17+ year BC survivor. I found this group to be super helpful. First, they talked about this process of adjusting to the "new normal." Also, when I get the BC heebie-jeebies (time for a mammogram or other screening tests) they are the best people I can talk to. My friends and family may mean well, but in my experience my best source of support is other cancer survivors.  Sending you good vibes as you move forward.

Dx 2/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 16, 2014 03:58AM dlb823 wrote:

Jenlee, if you're thinking of doing anything, I'd suggest at least making some initial phone calls right away.  There is a statute of limitations that varies by state, but I'm thinking it might be as short as two years in CA.    So you need to be sure that doesn't slip away if this continues to plaque you.

Also, I'm under the impression that radiation images can be somewhat open to interpretation.  I think (again not sure) you would have to be able to prove that the radiologist's failure to recommend biopsy was totally out of line with what other radiologists (not just 1) would have concluded looking at the same images.  In other words, in radiology, sometimes there is no absolute right or wrong -- just very poor judgment.       Deanna

Deanna "The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears" Native American proverb Dx 2/1/2008, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/3/2014, Stage IV
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Jan 16, 2014 05:02AM ziggypop wrote:

Hi Jenlee - 

Your post brings up a lot of issues that are maybe as or more important than if you decide to sue. If you do sue, the best that would happen is that you would get a financial settlement that would make your life easier in some ways - but it would take a fair amount of time and energy & I wonder if that's really the way that you would want to spend that time & energy. 

I hope I'm not overstepping here, but I noticed that you said you've " learned from these boards and from the BCO.org Facebook pages that my chances of survival with my type of cancer are substantially lower than my doctors have led me to believe." If you have stage2 breast cancer grade 2 with no node involvement & you did TAC & I'm assuming are on Tamoxifen, then your chances of survival are very good. I plugged your figures into cancer math & assuming TA and tamoxifen, it shows a mortality rate of less than 10 % over 15 years. 

I'm wondering if it might be that it would be better to work on getting yourself into the best physical and emotional 'space' as possible, rather than venturing into a lawsuit. I'm around the same age as you - was diagnosed at 51 and was active fit and healthy. It's around this time that we begin (I think) to really 'change' in appearance anyway the grey appears, we have to start wearing cheaters, wrinkles begin, age spots all the sudden show up, the undersides of our arms droop, etc. Throw chemo and surgery and worry on top of that & hell yeah we feel like we look like an entirely different person. The thing here is that while you think that you look like you're 70, I doubt that anybody else does. 

Here's the part of your post that I  think is the more important thing than a possible lawsuit - this sentence- "I've become so self-conscious and socially awkward and avoid many events at my daughter's school and other areas of our lives, because I'm so incredibly uncomfortable with my appearance." See, you did all this very hard stuff, so that you could live to do things like go to your daughter's school events, and it seems so sad to me that you would miss those events because you feel socially awkward - and I am sure that you do not look anywhere near as bad as you think you do (most of us judge our own appearance so much more harshly than others do).

So I'm wondering if maybe whether you do the lawsuit or not, you might not want to look into whether there's a support group in your area. I think if you were able to see yourself through other people's eyes, you might see how beautiful your really are.  

Dx 5/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, 5/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/31/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
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Jan 16, 2014 02:59PM encyclias wrote:

Jenlee, I am so sorry this has happened to you.  If you feel that a lawsuit will be necessary, perhaps the first question you want to ask your attorney would be on California's statute of limitations for filing.  Hope it all works out for you.       Carol

Civil Statute of Limitations

You must bring a lawsuit for a personal injury in California within two years of the injury, including claims of product liability. For medical malpractice claims, you have either three years from the date of the injury or one year from the date you discover or should have discovered the injury, whichever comes first. For instance, you have one year from the date you discover the presence of a medical or foreign object mistakenly left in your body cavity to file a suit.

Dx 10/5/2012, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/15/2012 AC Surgery 4/7/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/9/2013 Breast
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Jan 21, 2014 11:23PM vlnrph wrote:

Quite a story Jenlee. You might be wise to investigate your options so you can minimize any regrets down the road. I would start by requesting copies of previous radiology reports (the narrative, not the films for now) and seeing what the prior doctors actually said. Usually two specialists will read them but things do "fall through the cracks" sometimes. Look at what BIRADS score was assigned and if follow-up was supposed to occur at an earlier interval.

Meanwhile, ziggypop gives good advice. Whatever you decide, be gentle with yourself: enjoy that hubby & daughter, plus your warm California weather!

IDC too! 🎻💊👪🐩 🇫🇮 Rt MX+DIEP 4-2011; ALND 5-2011 d/t micromets; TC X 4; tamoxifen; lymphedema 9-2011; switch to letrozole 3-2014 for 1 yr; bone mets 8-2018: Zometa, rads to spine, Faslodex/Versenio Dx 3/7/2011, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/25 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 21, 2014 11:34PM Srh242 wrote:

Hi : I was misdiagnosed twice during pregnacy by two different surgeons. I tried to sue but the radiologist  expert at the lawyers office says all he can see on the sonogram was 3 cysts. I think they were on top of the tumor. We are still working but I might have no case. Still it made me feel better to talk to a lawyer.

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Jan 22, 2014 12:50AM Chickadee wrote:

I have come to the conclusion that for the most part if a lawyer takes these cases it's because THEY stand to benefit most financially not us.   Especially the class action creeps. 

However get a free consult and go from there.   

I'm in such bad shape, I'm wearing prescription underwear." Phyllis Diller 1917-2012 Dx 9/1/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 29, 2014 07:08AM fredntan wrote:

I contacted a lawyer about my missed diagnosis. was stage 3 when I found it. 4 now. I am doing great

I had lots of anger in beginning. talking to lawyer helped. first a nurse takes all your info over the phone. then if she thinks there could be case. you send in all your records, films. my case wasn't provable

filing complaint with medical board helped me tremendously . again a nurse takes all your info. she was shocked to hear my story. sent all my records in. then after 3 or so months they send you letter saying thanks for letting us know. no actions taken.

This was my way of letting these radiologists k now what they didn't do. it makes them better doctors. I know one of them had to contact his lawyer. so maybe he felt some remorse. I hope so.

the lawyer did tell me to freeze all my online social accounts. ie no posting on here or fb about it

MBC bone mets, afinitor,aromasin,xgeva Dx 8/3/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 13/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/9/2011 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 3/29/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 10/8/2012 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 4/3/2013 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Dx 10/2013, Stage IV, mets Chemotherapy 11/20/2013 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil) Hormonal Therapy
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Jan 30, 2014 01:57AM peggy_j wrote:

Jan 21, 2014 07:50pm Chickadee wrote:

I have come to the conclusion that for the most part if a lawyer takes these cases it's because THEY stand to benefit most financially not us.  

My understanding is that most (all?) personal injury lawyers get paid a percentage of the award. This means you don't pay anything upfront or anything at all if you don't win. As an alternative, I suppose you could try to hire someone and pay them hourly, but that means you may end up having to pay a big bill even if you lose. In my area most lawyers charge around $250-300/hr and charge billable hours for everything--phone calls, answering emails from clients, etc. It can really add up.

Dx 2/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 30, 2014 02:07AM MelissaDallas wrote:

Yes, malpractice is usually contingency. I am a paralegal. They can't afford to take cases that are not fairly sure bets because it is very expensive to prepare for & prosecute these cases and it doesn't pay your overhead, staff & costs if you don't win & it is all on the law firm.

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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Feb 9, 2014 07:33PM - edited Feb 10, 2014 06:30PM by juneping


i am sorry that you are having such a hard time went thru the TX. i too like ziggy went to your page and took a look, from what i read, your survival rate is very high, no node involvement and medium grade tumor.

i read a book, if you can find a cream that contains estriol (pls ask your doctor about it, it's a hormone) that can help your skin to gain back some elasticity.

juneping.wordpress.com/ Dx 11/15/2013, DCIS Dx 11/15/2013, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 2/35 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 10, 2014 01:26AM alexandria58 wrote:

I just found this thread.  I am an attorney, but I don't do these kind of cases.  I do know that failure to diagnose is one of the more common causes of action in medical malpractice. Still, personal injury are almost always on contingency, i.e. the lawyer gets a percentage.  Only exception might be when a person has such a lousy case that a lawyer will only take it if paid up front - and then it had better be a rich pissed off person.

For any of you who are contemplating seeing an attorney: please don't wait.  There is something called the Statute of Limitations which gives you a period of time after an injury to sue.  If you wait too long. you can lose the right to sue just from the passage of time.  See someone who specializes.

Dx 2/22/2011, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+
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Feb 28, 2014 04:46PM april485 wrote:

Jenlee, so very sorry that you are having such a difficult time. You have been given some good advice above. I found this and wanted to share it with you as it could mean the difference between what a lawyer has to say about your case, particularly in the "time delay" part of your diagnosis since BC is generally a slower growing cancer. I would pay close attention to the second paragraph. The site is in the UK, not the USA, but it seems to still make sense. Here is the link for attribution. http://www.thompsons.law.co.uk/clinical-negligence/misdiagnosis-of-breast-cancer.htm

When can a legal claim be made?

In order to make a claim for misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis it is necessary to prove that the standard of care received from the relevant practitioner fell below the standard of care expected from a reasonable qualified practitioner. This will normally be by reference to the codes of conduct for cancer care.

It is also necessary that the delay has caused an adverse outcome. The delay has to be for a number of months before it is likely that the outcome will be affected. An oncologist can map the stage the cancer would have reached at the time it should have been diagnosed and compare this with the stage at the time of diagnosis. He will then be able to look at the statistics for a cure and compare these at each stage. It is necessary to prove that the delay was the cause of the adverse outcome. It is not enough to say that there was an increase in the chance of an unfavourable outcome.

Legal Advice should be sought as quickly as possible, so that any potential claim can be pursued. There are strict time limits in place to make any injury claim. If these are not adhered to the right to make a claim may be lost.


"Fear has been a huge dictator in my life - so I am trying to stage a coup!" ~ a friend Dx 1/30/2013, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 2/20/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 3/10/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 4/21/2013 3DCRT: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2013 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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Jan 14, 2015 04:46AM CaringDoc wrote:

Hello all. Forgive me for being anonymous, but I feel it is necessary.

I am a radiologist (not in California). 15 years of schooling of post-grad just to get to the first year of this responsible yet high-risk environment. That itself was 15 years ago. I take my role incredibly seriously and I believe I do a careful job and strive to practice with empathy and by the Golden Rule. I keep up with literature and work collaboratively with other specialties to provide the best we have available for patients. I stumbled across this thread while looking for information on medical malpractice to prepare a primer for a lecture.

As some have alluded to thus far, mammography is a treacherous field. To strive to diagnose cancer with a soft tissue xray - without calling a large percentage back- is daunting, but unfortunately, it is the best option we presently have for availability, affordability, and relative reproducibilty- the 3 requirements for any mass screening test. This is of course, why annual screening is so critical and clinical factors including breast density and physical exam are important correlations. Even so, a small percentage of breast cancers can be mammographically occult. The presence of disease and the detection of disease are separate entities and we strive to narrow that gap each year with advances and research. Our bodies are so phenotypically variable and there are so many non-cancerous factors that are confounding in the search for cancer. It is cruel when a case falls between the two. I digress though.

On the topic of lawsuits. Please know that the vast majority of us are trying our very best everyday. When we learn of a miss, it is also devastating to us and we carry it for our careers, with no lawsuit needed. Sadly, there is no physician anywhere that does not miss on occasion. Depending on the modality, one might read 20,000 cases a year on average and 10 cases a year is 99.9%. This does not make it alright, and we want to be 100%. Even as I type, I can sense how foreign this may seem. I would never have thought this acceptable or okay when I was in medical school. I write this though in order to try to speak for this side and after much experience.

I have been the target of a lawsuit transiently (it was dropped) and have seen firsthand what suits do to colleagues in all fields. I have also been an expert in several and a witness in a few. It is a nasty process and brings no comfort to anyone. Both the plaintiff and the defendants are emotionally consumed and overloaded, with less than 10% of trial cases in favor of a the plaintiff in the end. The emotional toll is tremendous: sleepless nights, strained relationships, ironically poorer work quality. Many plaintiff's attorneys are in it for the occasional jackpot and it is hardly about the truth for them, but rather what can be suggested in concert with their professional expert and the situation they can threaten to present. The fallacy of the whole system is that each side is allowed 1 expert, even if 8 out of 10 experts would have agreed there was no malpractice at hand, to a jury of non-peers.

I suppose I am saying that in an ideal scenario when one has a question, you can and should contact your doctor or even the radiologist before you sue or report to a medical board. Even though we are faceless, we don't have to be, and sometimes just hearing and seeing what that person was thinking may give you peace of mind and foster communication... or strengthen your resolve the other way. Your lawyer would advise against it because it would not work for him/her. In the end, your health is what matters, and a suit seldom helps in that regard.

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Jan 14, 2015 06:04AM - edited Jan 14, 2015 06:07AM by Hindsfeet

Very interesting read! One year from last August due to pain in lower back, hip and sternum I had a bone scan. The nurse said I had the best radiologist. Because the bone scan look suspicious he spent twice the time scanning me. In the end he did a regular X-Ray. He concluded that it was nothing more than arthritis or degenerative disease. I was glad there was no metastases disease as I was dx fall 2011 with stage 1 a her2+ breast cancer. I had a mastectomy December 2011. Several months after the bone scan I had a mammo on my one remaining breast. There was a 8 mm stage 1 tumor. I was highly suspicious since the sternum continue to feel pressure and hurt to asked for a PET scan. It ended up that the PET scan lit up like a Christmas tree. I had cancer in my lower back, hip, femur, spine, neck, hylar lymph nodes, lungs, and liver. It just didn't happen. It had been there for quite some time. Plus, a few months later learned I had 4 brain tumors. The earlier bone scan should had picked it up. The radiologist already suspicious should have recommended further scans rather than just an X-Ray.

Well, it is water under the bridge, in fact my bone doctor said, a lot of water under the bridge. He said anyone complaining of sternum pain should have had a CT scan. It is rare to have arthritis in the sternum. He was actually angry the radiologist mis-dx me.

However, I've decided the stress of suing would only progress my cancer. It is not worth it. I do not believe that there was intent to hurt me. I should have asked for a CT scan rather than a bone scan. No more bone scans for me.

Doctors make mistakes and I would not want to ruin their careers for an over site...however, I did think of letting the doctor know so it doesn't happen again. Never take anyone who was previously dx with cancer scans for granted it is merely arthritis.

Dx 6/13/2014, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 14, 2015 01:19PM DivineMrsM wrote:

Another aspect of this is that while medical personnel are human and want to do their very best, sure, I agree with that, but hospitals, clinics and doctor offices want to make a profit. So to produce a better bottom line, oftencuts are made so there are less employees doing more work. A higher work load adds to the stress of the highly trained professional and adds to the possibility of mistakes being made. I cannot believe this does not happen.

Caring doc, thanks for your post and all its insight.

found lump 12/22/10~er+/pr+/her2- stage iv bone mets~chemo~lumpectomy~radiation~arimidex~ "The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places."
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Jan 14, 2015 02:37PM - edited Jan 14, 2015 02:39PM by DoggieBytes

In addition to caringdoc's comments keep in mind that the cost incurred by the medical community due to lawsuits is passed along to other cancer patients. They aren't going to absorb the cost without passing it on.

Having said that-

There must be some accountability for MDs and the medical community who may be truly negligent it's a difficult balance to strike, accountability vs cost to an already over priced, under serving system.

Perhaps it would be better to try to find out if this radiologist has a pattern of missed diagnosis and then get a class action law suit if he/she does?

I wish you the best and hope that you see improvement in. your health and life.

Suffering is a part of life, that does not justify adding to the suffering of others. Namaste. Dx 6/2/2014, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/8/2014 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 8/10/2014 AC Chemotherapy 10/20/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/21/2015 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 4/5/2015 Femara (letrozole)
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Feb 22, 2018 08:49PM astyanax66 wrote:

I am not sure this thread is still active...I am someone for whom both a mammogram *and* an ultrasound by one hospital/radiologist "missed" my IDC--twice. They did a screening mammo, then a diagnostic mammo, and an ultrasound. We live in a rural area, so the technicians had to send the films off site--while I waited. I still wasn't told anything. My PCP called me 2 days later and, to sum up, said "They didn't really make any recommendations other than if you wanted to pursue it, an MRI might give more information; the sonogram only says 'we did a sonogram.' BIRADS 0, but I'm thinking we need a second opinion." I agreed strongly--and then after switching facilities, it was found (both IDC and DCIS in the same area) with another mammogram and another ultrasound. I wasn't sure, but I could see *something* on the second sonogram myself. But I don't want to claim expertise where I have none.

I don't really want to sue and ruin someone financially. I don't want to deprive women in our rural area of screening mammograms. What do I want? Well, I want someone to tell women there, "Films have to be sent out for reading to a remote radiologist. You may experience delays. We're a general radiology center, so if for any reason, such as a strong personal or family history, if you would feel more comfortable, we understand and will help you and/or your PCP find a specialty center. And we are very sorry your cancer was missed. We will try to do better."

That's really all I want.

Dx 1/2004, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/31/2004 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 2/6/2018, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 2/6/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 2/27/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 4/9/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 4/9/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/6/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Feb 23, 2018 12:29AM edwards750 wrote:

OMG that’s scary - twice? Good grief that’s not like missing a flu DX. A friend of mine’s BC was missed the first time but luckily a persistent oncologist said she wasn’t convinced there was nothing there so she had her tested again. They found a very aggressive tumor. She had a double MX.

At the very least they should apologize but if it’s me I’m not going back there regardless.

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Mar 6, 2018 10:17PM astyanax66 wrote:

Hi Diane,

I’m now 6 days post op and still pondering my response. No way would I ever go back there. That expert second opinion turned out to be life saving—triple positive and more extensive DCIS than thought. I think I’m going to write the practice and discuss how this should be a learning experience. But I’m still thinking....:

Dx 1/2004, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/31/2004 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 2/6/2018, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 2/6/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 2/27/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 4/9/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 4/9/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/6/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Mar 7, 2018 01:30PM edwards750 wrote:

There was a lady on this website and part of our radiation group on this site who suffered horribly because of a missed DX and it cost her dearly. Her’s was a missed UTI. She ended up with bladder cancer - Stage IV. It was heartbreaking. However, she probably waited too long before she sought a second opinion.

In the meantime she consulted an attorney. Idk how old you are but she was 70. The lawyers pretty much told her judgments are typically based on age as in how long would she live anyway. Cruel? Absolutely but also reality.

The medical profession is a tight brotherhood. It’s very difficult and expensive to take them on. I am not suggesting that you don’t pursue this action just be aware of what you are up against.

It’s outrageous that medical mistakes happen but doctors are human. Doesn’t change the fact they should be accountable. That’s what malpractice insurance is for.

Consultations are free so it wouldn’t hurt to check with a lawyer.

Good luck!

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Aug 21, 2018 04:58PM Lumpie wrote:

I stumbled upon this thread, too. I have had two missed diagnoses: first skin cancer and later breast cancer. Thanks to those who have shared stories and to CaringDoc for your comments. I have talked with a cousin who is a physician and expressed many of the same sentiments. I have not taken legal action in either of my cases. As noted above, litigation is a nasty process and not really what many of us are after. Some may have expenses that are a direct result of malpractice and there may be instances in which those need to be compensated. Most of us understand that poor medical practice should not be regarded as the lottery. *What we want is good medical care for ourselves and for others not to be the victims of poor care.* In an ideal world, there would be a process, besides litigation, by which these issues could be meaningfully resolved. After consulting with a number of people in the medical field, and a few with legal backgrounds, I have about decided that formal, written complaints to the physician and their medical group, if they are part of one, should probably be the first step. And afterward to the state medical board if it seems warranted. In some cases, insurance plans may also need to be notified. Probably the most important potential outcome of this course of action is that, if followed consistently by patients, the medical board can monitor for troubling patterns of practice. (I am aware of one physician who lost his license this way, much to the relief of many in his community. Sad but prudent. And another of a radiologist who was discovered to have never actually read images - he just fictionalized the reports. Both shocking and sad.) This can be a slow process but has the potential to screen out those simply not competent at their practice. This is a difficult topic and it can be helpful to get others' insights.

"If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad." "Buy the ticket, take the ride." Dx 2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 1/14/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 1/14/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Dx 2017, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Surgery Lumpectomy: Right Surgery Lumpectomy: Right
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Aug 21, 2018 06:09PM WC3 wrote:

The facility that misdiagnosed me is a major medical facility. They failed to follow guidelines that would have lead to a more timely detection of my cancer and saved my fertility and possibly my life. At the time I was misdiagnosed the tumor was a little less than half a cm. It would have been a lumpectomy.I may be able to do a lumpectomy today if I have radiation but the risk of recurrance is very high.

I am in my late 30s. If I survive it will be with a hole of medical bill debt that I likely will never climb out of, no biological children, and whatever the treatments leave me with.

How many other women has this facility failed? I have dealt with big facilities before and the truth of the matter is, to effect change at them often does take a lawsuit.

I don't worry much about the radiologist. She might feel bad but damages in my state are capped at $250,000 or something like that....I got a bill for $150,000 and more are coming. She has malpractice insurance. It will be a blip on the screen of her career.

Dx 2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 6/1/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/15/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Aug 21, 2018 07:34PM marijen wrote:

So when people say the mammogram has missed their cancer, I wonder if they are referring to the 3D mammograms or not?

Lumpie, excellent information, I saved it.

There are plenty of sites where someone can review the offending MD or Clinic. Healthgrades and vitals.com come to mind. USA today reviews hospitals too. I like to research my doctors and follow all leads on the search engine. I use Duck Duck Go for privacy. It’s not a 100% protection though.

I might try to find out the radiologist that supposedly read the images and go from there. There should be some accounting for their mistakes. Definitely let the clinic that is sending the images out know. They can change who they use for readings.

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Aug 28, 2018 03:44PM WC3 wrote:


My first mammogram was not 3D. It did image the lump but for some reason the radiologist did not recognize it for what it was. My breasts are dense but the lump can be seen and further stands out as different with a simple contrast adjustment.

Dx 2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 6/1/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/15/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Aug 28, 2018 04:52PM marijen wrote:

I’m so sorry WC3. It is our worst fear that we fall between the cracks. How long was it from the missed mammogram until they found it? Are you still going to the same facility? Are you willing to give their name or at least the location? Have you confronted them? I hate that this has happened to you. I bet they blew you off because of your age. Why were you having a mammogram before 40? I worry about the women in their thirties...

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Aug 28, 2018 05:02PM SimoneRC wrote:

All of my Mammograms have been 3D since it was introduced. 6 months after my previous clear 3D mammogram, I noticed one of my previous lumps had changed. It did not feel suspicious to my GYN, but he sent me for diagnostic mammogram And ultrasound. I went to a major cancer center. Had clear 3D mammogram followed by suspicious ultrasound. Took me straight back for biopsy which was positive for IDC. I had very dense, fibrocystic breasts. Unfortunately mammograms, 3D or not, do not pick up all breast cancers. Especially in dense, fibrocystic breasts

ATM Gene Mutation, Deletion. Exons 62 & 63. IDC w/Lobular Features and Focal Mucinous Features , Pre Pectoral Reconstruction Dx 2/20/2018, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/6/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 5/6/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 7/3/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant

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