Overdiagnosis of Cancer Results in Needless, Painful Treatments
On July 19, 2010, Stephanie Saul, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter for the New York Times wrote on the false diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ (D.C.I.S.), a type of breast cancer, and its ramifications. In the article, Ms. Saul documents the experience of a woman from Northern Michigan improperly diagnosed with cancer. The woman has since pursued a claim, represented by McKeen & Associates, P.C. In March of 2007, the client was diagnosed with D.C.I.S. by a Northern Michigan doctor not fully qualified to make such a diagnosis. This doctor, aside from failing his board exam multiple times, did not have the requisite amount of experience to be effective at the diagnosis of D.C.I.S. As a result, Ms. Long had a quadrantectomy, where a quarter of her right breast was removed. She then went through six weeks of radiation.
Later, a grievous mistake was discovered. It was not until November of 2007, and a move to Illinois that it was discovered that the client had never had cancer in the first place! When the client moved to Illinois, she was referred to a center that specializes in cancer treatment. There, physicians told her that she never had D.C.I.S.
The client’s case is an example of a recurrent trend – a trend of false diagnosis in “early diagnosis” medicine. Patients are being diagnosed with dangerous diseases and being forced to endure painful treatments, often as a result of hospitals employing under-qualified physicians or physicians who fail to appropriately use recent advanced diagnostic technologies, sometimes with disastrous results.
If you have a serious medical condition, you should seek out care from the best available experts. Do not hesitate to ask questions regarding the background and expertise of the members of your health care team. Make sure that you are in the most capable hands available.