Errantly Performed Biopsy Leads to Complications, Mastectomy, Cancer Patient Claims

For many women, little is worse than receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer. For one Jefferson Parish woman, as reported by the Louisiana Record, her pain was allegedly worsened by an incorrectly performed biopsy. The woman claimed in a recent medical malpractice lawsuit that the error delayed her cancer diagnosis by several months, leading her to endure a series of invasive treatments and procedures that she claims she would not have needed if her medical care providers made the correct diagnosis after the initial biopsy.

Tamberly Gray’s health concerns emerged after her gynecologist discovered a lump in her right breast in 2008. The doctor referred the patient for a biopsy to discover if the mass was cancerous. The gynecologist, Dr. Penelope Treece, performed a vacuum-assisted biopsy of the patient’s right breast and told the patient she did not have cancer. Vacuum-assisted biopsies are minimally invasive procedures in which a probe is inserted into a small incision and, using ultrasound image guidance, extracts suspicious tissue for analysis.

The alleged failure in Gray’s case was not with the doctor’s failure to identify the tissue as cancerous; the tissue she removed was cancer-free. The problem was, according to the patient, the doctor inserted the probe in the wrong place and the tissue she removed was not from the mass.

Six months later, the patient underwent additional mammography testing, which diagnosed the mass as malignant. The patient then underwent radiation treatment, chemotherapy, mastectomy and several breast reconstruction surgeries. The patient may not have needed these painful and traumatizing procedures had she received a timely diagnosis of cancer, the lawsuit claimed.

The patient sought damages for pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement and medical expenses, among others.

Prompt treatment is essential for women with breast cancer. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2012 concluded that women who waited more than 60 days to begin treatment of advanced breast cancer were 85 percent more likely to die from the disease than those who start treatment immediately.

Of course, a false negative diagnosis is not the only risk out there. In 2009, a woman received a diagnosis of stage IV breast cancer. After enduring seven months of chemotherapy and giving away many of her possessions, doctors discovered that the initial diagnosis was the result of a faulty analysis of her lab results. The woman, who never had cancer at all, received a $367,500 judgment from a Texas jury last year in her medical malpractice case.

Patients place their lives in their hands of their doctors every day. A wrongful diagnosis can often result in the unnecessary application of expensive, painful and sometimes disfiguring treatments. Sometimes, these errors can be fatal. If you’ve been injured by a medical provider’s false positive, or false negative, cancer diagnosis, you should learn more about your rights to recover as a result of your doctor’s malpractice. Contact the Louisiana personal injury attorneys at the Cardone Law Firm, where we can help you review your case, begin organizing your evidence, and craft a plan that best serves you.

For your confidential consultation contact us online or phone Cardone at 504-522-3333.

More Blog Posts:

Failure to Diagnose Pregnancy Leads to Invasive Emergency Surgery, According to Patient’s Lawsuit, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, Nov. 9, 2013
Overlooked Surgical Sponge Leads to Injury, Lawsuit in Louisiana, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, Sept. 17, 2013

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