Physician to Pay $1,350,000 for Delay in Breast Cancer Diagnosis

September 4, 2015 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​A primary care physician who allegedly failed to refer a patient to a breast surgeon for a biopsy of a breast mass in a timely manner was found negligent and ordered to pay $1,350,000, according to a report from the July 2015 issue of Zarin's Medical Liability Alert (subscription required). The patient went to her primary care physician for her annual physical, and upon examination, two masses were located on the patient's left breast. The physician sent the patient for a mammogram and ultrasound, but did not refer the patient to a breast surgeon for follow-up. The mammogram and ultrasound identified no suspicious findings. The patient underwent a recommended ultrasound-guided biopsy of one mass with negative results. Although the findings were negative, the patient was instructed to continue self-breast examinations and report any changes. Less than a year later, the patient returned to her primary care physician with complaints of increased mass in the left breast.

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