Kerri Downes, 22, discovered a lump in her right breast while showering. She went to Axia Women’s Health, where she was seen by a nurse practitioner, Eileen Carpenter. Carpenter diagnosed fibrocystic breast changes, and a follow-up exam was scheduled for two weeks later.
At this appointment, Carpenter again diagnosed bilateral fibrocystic changes. Approximately nine months later, Downes experienced itching and burning of the skin over her breast. She consulted a physician, who noticed that Downes’s right breast was larger than her left and that she had a mass in her right breast.
An ultrasound and a biopsy led to a diagnosis of Stage IIB breast cancer, with metastasis to three lymph nodes. Downes underwent a bilateral mastectomy with lymph node dissection, chemotherapy and radiation as well as breast reconstruction. Downes is now 26 and has a reduced chance of survival.