Doctor Mistakes Cancer for Benign Growth


Oncology Expert WitnessThis case takes place in Connecticut and involves a female patient who during a routine physical examination, was noted to have a vaginal nodule. She referred the patient to an Ob-Gyn, who examined her using a tool to pierce the mass. He concluded that the mass was a benign cyst and sent the patient home. At her next complete physical examination, her PCP palpated a large mass. Some time later, an ultrasound showed a mass on her bladder and at the level of her vagina and rectum. The mass was initially diagnosed as a begin growth. It was later determined to be a malignant tumor. She underwent external beam radiation therapy and radical surgery, which eventually resulted in the removal of multiple organs. Since the surgery, the patient’s prognosis has not improved, and she has suffered a substantial decrease in her quality of life.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you routinely treat patients similar to the one described in the case? Please explain.
  • 2. Have you ever had a patient develop the outcome described in the case? If so, please explain.
  • 3. Please discuss your surgical experience and your ability to render a thorough opinion on causation.
  • 4. Are you able to review the records on behalf of the plaintiff and opine on, potentially testify to, your findings?
  • 5. Have you ever served as an expert witness and testified on a case similar to the one described above?

Expert Witness Response E-005949

As a gynecologic oncologist I routinely treat patients similar to the one described in this case. These cases are typically referred to me by general Ob-Gyn physicians, so I have seen patients with this outcome but they did not progress to this stage while under my care. I have 20+ years of experience as a gynecologic oncologist and currently I am the director of Gynecology Oncology Fellowship at a Major East Coast University Affiliated Medical Center. I am available to review the records on behalf of the plaintiff and potentially testify to my findings. It appears to me that the mass should have been appropriately identified at an earlier point in the patient’s care, and that she would have had a better outcome if this had been the case.

Expert Witness Response E-025092

My surgical expertise is in complex gynecologic surgery and gynecologic oncology surgeries. As a gynecologic oncologist, I diagnosis and treat women with sarcomas of the pelvis/gynecologic region. I have managed patients who have not been appropriately evaluated by the primary physician and when the patient comes to see me, I diagnosis the patient with an advanced cancer. I am able to render an opinion as to whether the patient was appropriately evaluated by her primary gynecologist, whether the workup/evaluation was appropriate and whether she received appropriate care. I am available to review the records and testify if needed.

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