Most people in Arizona are well aware that when a person has cancer, it is vital that the disease is diagnosed as soon as possible. Early diagnosis of many forms of cancer can make a huge difference in the available treatments and improve outcomes for cancer patients. When symptoms present, a doctor's failure to diagnose cancer can have significant adverse consequences for a patient.
But what happens when a doctor finds a lump and misdiagnoses a benign tumor as malignant and orders a bilateral mastectomy? That is the issue in a recently filed medical malpractice lawsuit in the Midwest.
The woman had undergone an ultrasound, which was followed later by a biopsy of a lump on her right breast. The doctor reportedly told the woman that the tumor was malignant and that she had invasive mammary carcinoma. Due to the diagnosis, the woman agreed to undergo a bilateral mastectomy. After that surgery was completed, the woman says that she learned that the tumor was not malignant at all, but benign.
She is suing the hospital and the doctor for negligence that resulted in her suffering from disfigurement, mental anguish, permanent disability and other issues, claiming that the doctor's misdiagnosis of cancer fell below the standard of care under the circumstances when the doctor misdiagnosed her benign condition as cancer.
Medical professionals have a duty to meet certain standards in treating a patient. While most failure to diagnose cases focus on the harm that can result if a doctor fails to recognize the symptoms of cancer, the Midwestern medical malpractice case is obviously one involving a unique set of allegations. The case alleges a misdiagnosis that resulted in permanent harm to the patient.
Source: The Madison/St. Clair Record, "Springfield woman sues in St. Clair County claiming doctor performed mastectomy on benign tumor," Kelly Holleran, April 4, 2012