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Topic: Delayed diagnosis/medical malpractice lawyers

Forum: Canadians Affected by Breast Cancer —

Canadian health care, clinical trials, and life in general in the north.

Posted on: Mar 7, 2019 06:28PM

pancakecats wrote:

Hi there, this is my first time on this forum and I am just very angry about my recent diagnosis and mastectomy.

Long story short:

1. Mammogram in June 2018

2. Report was birads 2 - recommended follow-up to be arranged by PCP - no follow up arranged and he said I was good to go ( I trusted him and did not request the report)

3. Noticed a mass in my breast for 3-4 months

4. Dec 2018 - ~4cm suspicious Birads 5 mass on ultrasound

5. Jan 2019 - biopsy confirmed IDC

6. Mar 5 2019 - Right mastectomy

I am just very angry and upset and wondering how it could grow so much in just 6 months. My PCP didn't tell me the results and said it was all normal. I only recently went back to get the actual report to read through it. I am very angry and I don't know why he did not arrange any follow-up. I have lost my breast and keep wondering what would have happened if this was diagnosed earlier.

So I am looking for a malpractice lawyer to file a civil suit against my PCP for not arranging proper followup and also the radiologist (I don't believe that it could have progressed so quickly...the repeat mammogram after the suspicious ultrasound had the technician asking me where I had that initial mammogram done. She was shocked).

Any advice? Input?

Thanks so much for your help,


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Mar 7, 2019 09:08PM Beesie wrote:

BIRADs 2 is a benign finding. Normal follow-up is routine screening. Your PCP followed protocol.

Although we are led to believe that mammograms will find breast cancer, sometimes they don't. Mammogram imaging can appear benign in June and cancer can be found in December. The timing can be even shorter. I had a BIRADs 1 mammogram (even better than a BIRADs 2) and I was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 weeks later, after a biopsy of a mass that was found on ultrasound imaging. The mass was no where to be seen on the mammogram.

The important question is whether the Radiologist who reviewed your mammogram in June missed something or improperly assessed whatever was seen that warranted the BIRADs 2. Should the imaging have been assessed as a BIRADs 3 or 4, requiring follow-up? That's possible, but interpretation of imaging is not a precise science, and two Radiologists looking at the same image could disagree as to the degree of concern and the BIRADs rating.

I understand your anger. Your PCP is not at fault. He is not a breast cancer specialist. As he should, he relied on the Radiologist's report, which was a BIRADs 2 and therefore did not require follow-up. The Radiologist may be at fault, but it's more likely the case that your mammogram imaging did not adequately and accurately show the cancerous mass that ultimately did show up on your ultrasound imaging.

The real problem is that we are lead to believe that we can trust the imaging that we have done. Most of the time this is true, but it is also true that a clear mammogram or ultrasound never guarantees that cancer might not already be present but just not seen by the imaging.

“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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Mar 9, 2019 09:07PM edwards750 wrote:

Well said as usual Bessie. I understand her anger too but I know of a particular case of a friend who had several mammograms that showed all clear only to have another doctor insist something was there. Good thing she did insist. My friend had an aggressive tumor and had a MX followed by chemo and radiology. Saved her life.

It’s not an exact science unfortunately.


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Mar 10, 2019 08:15PM Meow13 wrote:

I understand the anger too. I was never told about my extremely dense tissue and how mammograms for me were not enough until I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thankfully my tumors were smallish 1cm. I asked my radiologist were they there a year ago and went undetected she said probably but there was no way to tell. I would feel angry if the tumor was over 4cm.

Why didn't they tell me before about my extremely dense tissue, I could have had more screening and maybe caught the cancer earlier.

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Mar 10, 2019 08:26PM santabarbarian wrote:

If you happened to have a grade three tumor it would have no trouble growing from zero that quickly. That's another flaw with relying on annual mammograms. They catch slow and poky cancers but not always virulent cancers.

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices; Proton rads. Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/12/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/11/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Mar 10, 2019 09:21PM jessie123 wrote:

And if it's lobular it probably won't show up at all on mammogram.

Dx 11/2018, LCIS/ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/21/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/15/2019 Whole-breast: Breast

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