Patient Alleges Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer Essay Paper
A 27 year old woman presented in Oct 1997 with complaints of a lump at 6 o’clock in her right breast. The physician was able to palpate several small cysts and other signs of fibrocystic changes, but felt no dominant mass and told her to return in 6 weeks. She returned and the physician could palpate nothing at that time. She returned in 3 months and test showed the same result.
At her annual test in May, 1998, a mass was palpated at 9 o’clock in the right breast. She had a negative mammogram, but the ultrasound was positive for a solid mass. Excisional biopsy showed infiltrating ductal carcinoma. She had no positive nodes, underwent mastectomy with reconstruction and is still cancer-free.
1. The patient alleges failure to diagnose breast cancer and that mammography or biopsy should have been done in October 1997. What do you think?
2. What comments can you make about what you would “expect” in someone her age?
3. Comment on the lump being first at 6 then at 9 o’clock.
4.How do you think the doctor handled the case? Appropriately? Is there anything that you think he/she should have done differently? Discuss the appropriateness of the diagnostic tools used and defend your answer.