$18 Million Verdict For Misdiagnosed Breast Cancer: After a two-week trial that ended on July 22, 2022, a Pennsylvania medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in the amount of $18 million in favor of a now 26-year-old woman whose breast cancer went undiagnosed because her health care provider failed to order appropriate medical tests after the woman found a small lump in her right breast.
The woman was seen by a nurse practitioner on March 29, 2018 after the woman discovered a small lump in her right breast. The nurse practitioner considered the woman’s young age and that breast cancer is very rare in a young woman, and told the woman that the lump was benign and that she had nothing to worry about.
The lump grew from the size of a grape over the next nine months. The woman began experiencing a tingling sensation in her breast and underarm and also had a burning sensation in the area of the lump. These symptoms led her in December 2018 to return to the medical practice where she had been seen by the nurse practitioner nine months earlier, but this time she was seen by a physician. The physician was able to palpate a now golf ball-sized mass where the grape-sized mass had been palpated nine months earlier – the mass had grown from 1.5 centimeters to 4 centimeters.
Following an ultrasound, the woman was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. The mass was surgically removed but the pathology evaluation determined that her breast cancer had spread to three lymph nodes.
The Pennsylvania medical malpractice jury determined that the nurse practitioner had been medically negligent by failing to timely diagnose and treat the woman’s breast cancer. The plaintiff’s Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer stated after the verdict, “Health care providers need to listen to their patients. even when it involves a younger person. The cancer invaded her lymph nodes which reduced her chances of being able to live a longer life. She lost a significant amount in terms of life expectancy over the next 10 to 15 years, and that’s what this case is about.”
The woman graduated from Immaculata University’s nursing program and is currently a registered nurse working in a Level II trauma center, where she plans to continue to work.
About 9% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age.
Breast cancer in young women is—
- More likely to be hereditary than breast cancer in older women.
- More likely to be found at a later stage, and is often more aggressive and difficult to treat.
- Often coupled with unique issues, including concerns about body image, fertility, finances, and feelings of isolation.
If you or a family member were injured as a result of cancer malpractice in California or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a California medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your cancer medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your family member in cancer medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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