Doctor Incorrectly Interprets Mammograms


Breast Cancer ExpertThis case takes place in New York involves a woman who was getting regular mammograms over a period of several years, which appeared to be consistently negative. Eventually, however, the patient received a mammogram which revealed a suspicious mass. Upon further examination of the mass, it was discovered to be an advanced case of breast cancer. Despite aggressive treatment of the woman’s cancer, she eventually succumbed to the disease, which had already metastasized to other areas in her body by the time it was first detected. In spite of the fact that her previous screenings had not detected anything suspicious, it was later discovered that a potentially worrying mass was present in an earlier mammogram. It is alleged that, had the mass in the earlier mammogram been properly identified, treatment could have begun much earlier, potentially saving the woman’s life.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you routinely treat patients similar to the one described in the case? Please explain.
  • 2. Would this patient have benefited from a better outcome if the diagnosis had been made in a more timely fashion?
  • 3. Have you ever served as an expert witness on a case similar to the one described above? If so, please explain.

Expert Witness Response E-010959

At present, I only treat breast cancer patients. Thus, I have had extensive experience in diagnosing and treating patients similar to the one described in your case.  Based on the information provided in the case description, it sounds like the films were misinterpreted – which is very unfortunate.  As a result of this misread, the patient was diagnosed in a very late stage in her disease.  Had she been diagnosed in an earlier stage, her prognosis would have certainly been different. I serve as the Director of the Breast Program at a top ranked cancer center / university medical center in NYC – it would be my pleasure to serve as an expert reviewer for this patient. Please let me know how I can be of assistance.

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