A Woman Underwent A Mastectomy For A False Cancer Diagnosis
NY Post- A Harlem mom was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, underwent disfiguring surgery to have her left breast removed and had additional procedures to deal with complications — only to learn she never had the disease in the first place.
“I didn’t know whether to smile and thank God I didn’t have cancer or cry because I’ve been through so much,” Eduvigis Rodriguez, 51, told The Post.
Rodriguez’s nightmare began after she felt a lump in her breast and had a biopsy done at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital, she says in a medical-malpractice suit.
It turns out she had a condition known as sclerosing adenosis — benign extra growth tissue in the breast lobules — but hospital pathologist Dr. Jean Marc-Cohen misinterpreted her biopsy results, according to the civil suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Marc-Cohen, the suit says, mistakenly determined that Rodriguez had infiltrating ductal carcinoma, the most common form of breast cancer.
Rodriguez was then sent for surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital — and the error was only compounded there, the suit says.
Lenox Hill has had a procedure in place since 2012 that requires all pathology reports done by other institutions to be reviewed by its own medical staff before authorizing major surgery, such as a mastectomy, the court papers say.
Such a review allegedly never took place.
But Rodriguez’s surgeon, Dr. Magdi Bebawi, still signed a Lenox Hill form before surgery that read, “I certify that outside pathology slides have been reviewed by the hospital’s pathology department,” the suit says.
Bebawi performed the mastectomy on Rodriguez in April 2015, court documents say.
Story hits a little close to home for me. In January, I was given a false cancer diagnosis as a result of a switched lab result. A month before, I’d had surgery on my vocal chords to remove polyps that developed from overuse (I talk too much, ask KMarko). When the biopsy of the polyps came back, the results showed malignant cancer cells, which made the doctors think they’d removed a tumor, not a polyp. What had actually happened was that the lab technicians had swapped my lab specimen with those of another patient, a woman. It took about 3 weeks for them to realize that the DNA in my sample was… female. Of course, all this happened during the first two weeks that I was working at Barstool, so the conspiracy theories started swirling that I had “faked cancer to get a job.” Even today, I’ll receive a few taunts on twitter to that effect. I guess we all have crosses to bear.
Of course, I didn’t have my throat removed as a result of my false cancer diagnosis, so Ms. Rodriguez’s situation is definitely worse. It’s just crazy to me that in 2017, we can fuck up medical diagnoses so severely. HOW do you get that far down the road of treatment for a disease that isn’t there?! They surgically removed her breast. I understand that in a situation like this, doctors want to act quickly to stop the cancer from spreading. But maybe run that biopsy again just to make sure? Cripes.
I can tell you that it’s a weird feeling when you find out that you don’t have cancer anymore because… you never did. On the one hand, you’re obviously relieved. On the other, you’re angry that they fucked up so much. I spent 3 weeks thinking I had cancer in my throat. As a twisted comedian, I coped with it through humor. But it took a toll on my family and friends.
Here’s hoping that Ms. Rodriguez wins the settlement she deserves.