Articles Posted in Misdiagnosing Cancer

The Nebraska Supreme Court held that the limitations period for a patient’s medical malpractice claim began when this patient received the prostate cancer diagnosis.

Richard Bonness had a family history of prostate cancer. He underwent Prostate‑Specific Antigen (PSA) tests multiple times after his father’s death from the same disease.

In late 2010, he became the patient of physician Dr. Joel Armitage and the two allegedly discussed Bonness’s desire to be screened for prostate cancer.
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Mr. Doe suffered a fall at work and underwent a chest X-ray and a CT scan. He was diagnosed as having multiple rib fractures and a small pulmonary nodule in his right upper lung. Several weeks later, a PET scan revealed mild hypermetabolic activity in the right upper lobe of his lung, which prompted a CT-guided core biopsy.

The biopsy specimen was sent to pathology but was too small. Mr. Doe did not undergo a repeat biopsy.

Approximately eight years later, Mr. Doe suffered another fall and underwent a chest X-ray. This revealed 2.9-cm lung density. Mr. Doe was later diagnosed as having Stage III adenocarcinoma of the lung. Adenocarcinoma is a type of cancer that starts in the mucous glands inside of organs, including the lungs.
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David Riese, 60, went to his primary care physician complaining of a lump in his neck. He underwent an MRI and was referred to ENT Dr. Matthew Jerles, who aspirated the lump.

Riese returned to Dr. Jerles several times and underwent the surgical removal of the lump, which had ruptured during the aspiration procedure.

Testing later revealed that there was a diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma. Dr. Jerles then examined the back of Reise’s throat and diagnosed a tumor at the base of his tongue. It was later revealed that the tumor had been present on the MRI, which had been faxed to Dr. Jerles at the start of Reise’s treatment. Dr. Jerles obviously missed observing and noting that tumor.
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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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