Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis: An Error in Pathology

09:00 05 March in Diagnosis, doctor, Health, Medicine

Alison McCormack of Dublin, Ireland, was 35 years old when she noticed a lump in her right breast in 2010. She was referred to St. James’s Hospital in Dublin, where she was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a non-invasive form of breast cancer. Alison had a mastectomy to remove the cancer, followed by breast reconstruction. She did not have further treatment, such as chemotherapy, because her cancer was diagnosed as non-invasive.

In October 2012, two years later, Alison felt a lump in her neck. She was once again referred to St. James’s Hospital, where additional tests revealed that the original DCIS was back and had spread to the lymph nodes of her armpit and up to her neck. She began a year-long treatment plan, including six months of aggressive chemotherapy. All the lymph nodes in her right arm were removed and she received five-and-a-half months of radiation therapy. As a result, Alison has been left with lifelong health issues, including lymphedema, resulting in severe swelling of her right arm.

In 2013, Alison was informed that her cancer had been misdiagnosed when it re-presented in her neck. In a hospital review, the lump in her breast was reported as showing DCIS only, but when the hospital reviewed her original pathology slides in 2012, they found that these slides revealed she had invasive breast cancer that was missed by the pathologist.

An initial re-read of Alison’s pathology slides could have saved her time, money and unnecessary pain and suffering. As part of WorldCare’s Medical Second Opinion (MSO) service, both radiology and pathology slides are re-read, along with other diagnostic material, by a team of leading medical experts at the top-ranked hospitals of The WorldCare Consortium® in order to establish the correct diagnosis and optimal treatment plan. These specialists have access to the latest clinical research and over $4.3 billion in annual biomedical research funding.

MSOs prevent the tragedy of misdiagnosis and WorldCare has been trusted for over 25 years in providing the highest quality, most clinically rigorous MSOs globally. Our experience, impact and clinical rigor have made our MSO service the gold standard in the industry, resulting in a change in diagnosis in 26 percent of cases reviewed and a change in treatment plan in 75 percent, with return on investment exceeding 600 percent when there is a significant change in both the diagnosis and treatment. If you are a member and would like to request service or if you are an employer, insurer, broker or TPA interested in offering our services, please contact us today.





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