Legal: Falure to follow-up on breast mass

January 1, 2009

Gynecologist allegedly fails to follow-up on breast mass.

A 52-year-old New York woman went to her gynecologist for her annual examination in 2004. A mass was detected in the right breast and a mammogram and ultrasound were performed. The patient was told these exams were negative. One year later she returned for her annual exam and reported that the mass had grown. She had a mammogram, U/S, and was referred to a breast surgeon for biopsy. This revealed stage IIA infiltrating lobular cancer. The patient underwent a mastectomy, reconstruction of the right breast, chemotherapy, and radiation.

The woman sued the gynecologist, claiming the cancer should have been diagnosed in 2004.

The physician argued that the cancer was multifocal and that a diagnosis in 2004 would not have changed the patients' treatment nor decreased likelihood of recurrence of the cancer. The gynecologist maintained that follow up had been recommended in 2004, but the patient had failed to follow his recommendation. A $1.3 million settlement was reached.