Articles Posted in Misdiagnosing Cancer

Robert Klein went to a hospital emergency room complaining of right flank pain, urinary burning, and blood in his urine. He was 48 years old at the time. A third-year resident, Dr. Lien Nguyen, ordered a CT scan. The CT scan results revealed kidney stones and a bladder mass.

Dr. Nguyen discharged Klein with instructions to see a urologist.

Over a year later, after Klein’s symptoms progressed, he underwent an ultrasound, which again showed a mass on his bladder. He was diagnosed with Stage III bladder cancer and underwent an unsuccessful procedure to remove the cancer. He later required removal of his entire bladder.
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When James Hoznor, 66, developed throat problems, a Veterans Administration (VA) physician ordered an x-ray. The results showed an abnormality at the base of Hoznor’s tongue.

After Hoznor consulted a VA otolaryngologist, a primary care physician Dr. Cornelio Honge told Hoznor that he had a swollen salivary gland and prescribed antibiotics.

For more than a year, Hoznor’s symptoms continued, including swelling of the glands in his neck. Hoznor later sought out an opinion from a non-VA medical provider. A later biopsy showed that Hoznor unfortunately had Stage IV squamous cell carcinoma of the throat and tongue.
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Gail Ingram was 61 years old when she went to a hospital emergency room complaining of abdominal pain. She underwent a CT scan, which was interpreted by radiologist Dr. Barbara Blanco as showing possible pancreatitis, a gallstone and no acute bowel findings.

After a four-day hospital stay, Ingram was instructed to consult her primary care physician and was discharged. Less than two years later, she returned to the emergency room suffering from abdominal pain once again. The CT scan this time revealed a 4-cm lung mass, which led to a lung cancer diagnosis.

Ingram, whose cancer was diagnosed then at Stage IV, died just a month later. She was survived by her husband and two adult children.
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Rickie Lee Huitt, 65, consulted a urologist at The Iowa Clinic after receiving his prostate cancer screening results. The urologist ordered a biopsy, which was sent to the clinic’s anatomical laboratory for interpretation.

The pathologist, Dr. Joy Trueblood, the laboratory’s director, examined Huitt’s slides and reported that she had found cancer in both sides of his prostate.

Huitt then met with the neurologist who told him that he required a radical prostatectomy to survive his cancer. The surgery left Huitt with erectile dysfunction and incontinence.
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Gail Ingram went to a hospital emergency room complaining of abdominal pain. She underwent a CT scan, which was interpreted by a radiologist, Dr. Barbara Blanco, as showing possible pancreatitis, a gallstone, and no acute bowel findings. Ingram was 61 years old at that time.

After a four-day hospitalization, she was instructed to consult her primary care physician. Less than two years later, she returned to the emergency room still suffering from abdominal pain. The CT scan revealed a 4-cm lung mass, which led to a lung cancer diagnosis.

Ingram, whose cancer was diagnosed at Stage IV, died just over a month later. She was survived by her husband and two adult children.
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This case arises out of a medical malpractice lawsuit alleged to have been prompted by the negligence of a radiologist. Courtney Webster had a CT scan performed at CDI Indiana LLC‘s diagnostic imaging facility. The radiologist, an independent contractor hired by Medical Scanning Consultants, missed identifying and diagnosing the cancer, which then remained untreated for over a year before being diagnosed.

Webster and her husband, Brian Webster, sued CDI, which in turn insisted that the Websters could not hold it liable because CDI did not directly employ the radiologist who was at fault for not recognizing the cancer.

The district court rejected that argument and applied the law of apparent agency, which instructs that a medical provider is liable if a patient reasonably relied on its apparent authority over the wrongdoer.
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A chest X-ray of Marilyn Day, 76, revealed a suspicious lung mass several weeks after she had been admitted to Firelands Regional Medical Center. She was suffering from leg weakness, confusion and disorientation when she was admitted. A repeat X-ray showed the mass had shrunk.

An MRI of the brain revealed multiple ring-enhancing lesions with restricted diffusion, consistent with a brain abscess or metastatic cancer. Neurologist Dr. Jean Barylski Danner examined Day and reviewed the MRI. She told Day’s family that she was likely suffering from metastatic brain cancer.

Testing for lung cancer was negative. After an infectious disease consultation, and a week after Day’s consultation with Dr. Barylski Danner, she was administered antibiotics to treat a brain abscess. A neurosurgeon performed an aspiration procedure.
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Courtney Webster was diagnosed as having rectal cancer when she was 41 years old. Five years later, she underwent a CT scan at CDI Indiana Center for Diagnostic Imaging after she experienced constipation and noticed blood in her stools.

An independent contractor physician interpreted the CT test and did not mention an abnormal rectal mass. Eighteen months later, Webster underwent a colonoscopy, which showed rectal cancer. A follow-up CT scan showed a soft-tissue rectal mass and indications of metastasis. Webster, whose cancer is now Stage IV, will most likely die from the disease in the near term.

Webster and her husband sued the Center for Diagnostic Imaging, Inc. d/b/a CDI Indiana, LLC and CDI Indianapolis, alleging liability for the independent contractor’s choosing not to report the presence of a rectal mass on the first CT scan.
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Over a period of seven years that began in May 2008, Ms. Doe, 50, presented to an HMO complaining of a dime-sized lesion on her right lower leg. Ms. Doe was seen by dermatologists and vascular surgeons. A Doppler study was completed. The doctors dressed the wound and did debridement.

In 2015, a biopsy revealed basal cell carcinoma. Ms. Doe required an extensive incision and suffered significant scarring and muscle loss.

Ms. Doe and her husband sued the HMO alleging that they choose not to timely diagnose the cancer when it was evident. The defendant argued that it had met the standard of care and that its actions had been reasonable considering Ms. Doe’s significant venous insufficiency. There was no claim for lost income.

Hamidan Mahamad underwent an annual gynecological checkup performed by an obstetrician, Dr. Herbert Mosberg, an employee of Hollis Women’s Center. Mahamad was in her middle 60s at the time of this exam. A routine transvaginal ultrasound showed the presence of free fluid in Mahamad’s pelvis, which was not there on previous ultrasounds.

Dr. Mosberg said that the latest test was normal. However, nine months later, Mahamad was diagnosed as having ovarian cancer that had metastasized to her uterus, liver and other organs.

In spite of several rounds of chemotherapy and surgery, Mahamad passed away from her illness about two years later. She is survived by her two adult children.
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