$1.69 Million Recovery for Delay in Treating Recurrent Breast Cancer

Delay in Cancer Diagnosis

32-year old patient underwent a bilateral mastectomy for right breast cancer in Albany, New York.

One month after the operation, a whole body PET/CT scan was performed to check for signs of recurrent breast cancer. The PET/CT scan showed abnormal hypermetabolic activity “consistent with malignancy” in the right breast. The radiologist recommended a breast MRI to confirm the findings suspicious for locally advanced breast cancer.

The oncologist advised the patient that the findings were normal post-operative changes, further testing was unnecessary and he was not concerned. 9 months later, the patient was diagnosed with metastatic stage IV breast cancer and died 1 ½ years later. The patient was survived by her husband and 2 children.

Plaintiff alleged that the oncologist should have ordered a breast MRI to confirm the presence of recurrent breast cancer. The breast MRI would have provided confirmation of the recurrent breast cancer and the patient would have had an opportunity for surgery to remove the tumor from her chest wall.

As a result of the 9-month delay in diagnosis, the patient’s breast cancer advanced from stage III-B to stage IV and the likelihood of her survival was diminished from 72% to 22%. The funds will provide financing for the education of the decedent’s minor children.