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Old 02-28-2006, 10:15 AM   #1
RobinP
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Lightbulb Breast Lumps in Young Women

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: upstate NY
Posts: 641


Breast Lumps in Young Women
A surgeon, misdiagnosed a cancerous breast lump that I had as benign at five separate appointments spread over seventeen months. He relied on my negative mammogram, never informing me that it had an error rate up to 30% in young pre-menopausal women, like me. Additionally, he MISINTERPRETED my clinical breast exams and my breast ultrasounds, repeatedly erroneously informing me that they were NOT suspicious for cancer and that my lump was only cystic. Finally, he never informed me of or offered me the most accurate core or excisional biopsies for my ever-enlarging and persisting breast lump.Instead, he performed the sub-optimal fine needle aspirate biopsy, informing me it would adequately assess my breast lump. Due to his many negligent errors, I suffered a POORER medical/surgical outcome and WORSE prognosis that could have been prevented had he done his job correctly.

After my misdiagnosis, I learned the pathologist misread my initial fine needle aspirate as adequate for evaluation and benign when it was difficult to read and cancerous.When my pathologist was questioned about her misread pathology on the fine needle biopsy at legal hearings, she denied error, claiming she read the slides accurately. However, the slides were verified as misread and cancerous by four expert pathologists.

I've really lost confidence in doctors due to my pathologist's and surgeon's errors in misdiagnosing my breast cancer and denial of their medical mistakes. What they put me through was very difficult for me and my family. Honesty concerning their errors would have really helped me in coping with my misdiagnosis; however, that didn't happen.Nothing can reverse the hands of time to give me the early cancer diagnosis that I so desperately needed and deserved. I hope that other young women with breast lumps will not suffer as I have because doctor negligence and denial of medical errors and I have the following suggestions...

To other young women with breast lumps:


Since my misdiagnosis, I have learned that early 75% of young women, under 45 years old, who present to their physician(s) with a self-discovered palpable breast lump(s) and with a negative mammogram will ultimately suffer a physician related delayed diagnosis! In fact, if you are a young woman, you are nearly twice as likely to suffer a physician related delayed breast cancer diagnosis than your older counterparts. This is because many physicians often assume a benign diagnosis in younger women and often fail to perform the appropriate diagnostic tests, thinking breast cancer occurs in only older women. Consequently, young women with breast lumps should obtain second and even third medical opinions to avoid a physician related misdiagnosis. Don't be a fool and think a misdiagnosis can't happen to you.A breast misdiagnosis can happen to any young woman. I was only in my thirties when I suffered a 17 month delayed diagnosis by trusted, well known, experienced physicians.

I only wished I could turn back the hands of time to prevent my delayed diagnosis that spread to my lymph node and possibly to distant sites. However, that is impossible. So I urge those with breast lump(s) to get second and even third medical expert opinions. Perhaps if just one person is saved a misdiagnosis via of this profile message, some of my sorrow will turn into joy.

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Old 02-28-2006, 07:25 PM   #2
saleboat
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Robin-- that is quite a story, I had no idea. Thank you for sharing and highlighting your experiences for other young (and all) women.

I'm from Upstate NY too-- I grew up in Rochester, but now live in NYC. I miss it, but have no hope of getting my husband out of Manhattan.

Take care,
Jen
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:49 AM   #3
TriciaK
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I am shocked by your story, Robin, especially that you were involved in the medical field and still misdiagnosed. My younger sister (my only sibling) kept telling her doctor in the late 1970's that she was worried about a growing breast lump. He kept telling her for 11 months it was nothing to worry about. SHe lived in a small town in ALaska. Finally she called me in Arizona and asked me to make an appointment with my doctor. I did and she flew down. Of course it was cancer and already spreading. She fought it for 7 years until she died in 1985, the same year I was diagnosed. I am sure I wouldn't have been so vigilant except for her insistance that I be. Of course there was not the treatment available 21 years ago that there is now, but I believe she could have been saved if her original doctor had only listened to her. I have been fighting BC for over 20 years now, with my last mets (to the lungs) showing up in 2004. I am now NED, thanks to herceptin, an on-the-ball oncologist and all the info on this website.I only hope that you are getting the best treatment possible now, Robin. Please stay in touch on this wonderful website. Hugs, Tricia
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Old 03-11-2006, 07:23 AM   #4
Jade
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Exclamation Misdiagnosis

I, too, was misdiagnosed. In Feb. 04 I saw my GP about a "scab" on my nipple (had never had anything like that before). She said it was fungus(!) and gave me a prescription for cream to apply on it. Life as a single mom with 2 kids being crazy as it is, I noted the cream didn't appear to be working but didn't get back to the doctor for 8 months, prompted by severe pain in the breast. When I had my mammogram, they didn't even wait for me to check back with my doctor, the cancer was all over the place, I knew it and they knew it. I had Paget's disease of the nipple, plus a huge mass of calcification with an 8mm invasive tumour smack in the middle which was only discovered when the breast was removed. Under the circumstances I feel fortunate to have been diagnosed as Stage I, but I wonder for how long.....
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Old 03-11-2006, 12:36 PM   #5
RobinP
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Sorry to hear of your misdiagnosis Jade, my heart goes out to you as I know how devastating this is to deal with having young children. I just pray you will never have to deal with breast cancer again.
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