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Jury awards damages for missed breast cancer diagnosis

When a 50-year-old woman discovered a marble-sized lump in her breast, she went to her doctor for a mammogram, hoping and praying that she did not have breast cancer. She thought her prayers were granted when her doctor concluded that there was "no evidence of malignancy" in the lump. He did not order any additional tests, and she trusted his diagnosis.

But a year later, the lump still remained in the woman's breast. She returned to the doctor, and a second mammogram revealed that the lump had grown to the size of a golf ball and that it was breast cancer after all. After going through intense treatment, the cancer went into remission, but ultimately returned with a vengeance.

Because of his failure to diagnose her breast cancer, the woman filed a personal injury lawsuit against the doctor. In the suit, she alleged that his faulty diagnosis had ultimately made her prognosis worse.

Recently, a jury ruled in favor of the woman and ordered the doctor to pay her $15 million in damages.

Following her eventual diagnosis of breast cancer, the woman underwent intense treatment including a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. The cancer went into remission for a time, but it has now returned, and has spread to her bones. She is again undergoing regular chemotherapy treatments, and her ultimate prognosis is unknown.

The woman says that she filed the lawsuit to warn other patients to be vigilant. "If you have any suspicions, any doubts," she said, "ask for another test."

If your medical treatment has been delayed due to a negligent failure to diagnose your disease, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: NBC, "Breast Cancer Missed, Victim Wins $15M in Malpractice Suit," Greg Cercol, Feb. 10, 2012

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