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Botched breast biopsy

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Old 09-08-2018, 06:35 PM   #1
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Exclamation Breast biopsy and breast cancer

Hi, sharing the below that happened to a friend for breast cancer awareness and to seek advice

A very close friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. After the diagnosis, veteran breast surgeons pointed out to her that she could have been diagnosed earlier, but was not diagnosed because the cancer was missed during her first biopsy.

What happened was that a year ago, my friend found a breast lump and the doctor who did the biopsy missed the tumor and only took out normal breast tissue. This was explained to my friend by very experienced breast surgeons she consulted.


This led to the cancer being found out only a year later when it had grown bigger. Because the cancer had grown, my friend have to suffer from more treatments, which she could have avoided, like chemotherapy and radiation, and also more invasive and extensive surgeries. For example, the chemo and radiation take up seven months, and that is 7 months of extra treatment and side effects she has to suffer from just because the cancer was missed earlier on. All these would not have happened if the first biopsy had caught the cancer. This is because cancer when caught earlier is much easier to treat, e.g. some types of breast cancer, if caught early enough, do not need chemo at all.

Needless to say my friend is very affected by all these, and I will like to crowd-source for advice to help..Anyone has similar experience to share and what did you do in those circumstances? What recourse does my friend have? Thanks in advance Please PM me.


Topics: Breast cancer, Singapore breast cancer, breast biopsy, biopsies, biopsy accuracy, breast surgeons Singapore, breast lump, breast tumour, breast surgery, lumpectomy, mastectomy, breast doctors singapore,

Last edited by htftns; 13-08-2018 at 04:42 PM..
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:04 PM   #2
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Hi, sharing the below that happened to a dear friend for breast cancer awareness and to seek advice

A very close friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. After the diagnosis, a few veteran breast surgeons pointed out to her that she could have been diagnosed much earlier, but was not diagnosed because of an inaccurate biopsy done.

The inaccurate biopsy led to the cancer being found out only a year later when it had grown bigger. Because the cancer had grown, my friend have to suffer from more cancer treatments, which she could have avoided, like chemotherapy and radiation, and also more invasive and extensive surgeries. She also has to face a greater lifetime risk of cancer and also suffer from more side-effects of treatment. All these would not have happened if the first biopsy was done properly. This is because cancer when caught earlier is much easier to treat.

Needless to say my friend is very affected by all these, and I will like to crowd-source for advice to help..Anyone has similar experience of botched biopsies, delayed diagnosis to share? What recourses does my friend have? Legal advice welcomed. Please PM me.
Hi TS. You might want to be cautious about publicly naming and shaming if you don't have conclusive proof beyond reasonable doubt that the biopsy was indeed "botched". Otherwise the named person may have the right to take legal action against you. I'm not sure if HWZ will be made to release your information should the doctor in question decide to make a case.

Anyway, I would suggest for your friend to lodge a complaint with SMC as a first step:

http://www.healthprofessionals.gov.s...complaint.html

Following which, she can and should seek independent legal advice from a medical malpractice lawyer.

I should suppose part of the consideration will be if the risk of sampling error was explained by the doctor performing the biopsy, because that is always a possibility no matter how experienced/capable the person is.

2 cents. Not a lawyer/legally trained.
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Last edited by Lurkerdoc; 09-08-2018 at 07:10 PM..
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:09 PM   #3
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Btw, seems like the aforementioned doctor is also a trained lawyer called to the bar, in addition to being a breast surgeon.

All the more reason for you to proceed with caution on your online allegations, especially if you are not yourself the person affected.
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:11 PM   #4
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Hi Lurkerdoc, thanks for the inputs.

Any idea how to change the thread title? I can't seem to do so. I won't use the word "botched" then. But it is factual that the biopsy was inaccurate.
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:19 PM   #5
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Hi Lurkerdoc, thanks for the inputs.

Any idea how to change the thread title? I can't seem to do so. I won't use the word "botched" then. But it is factual that the biopsy was inaccurate.
You can create a request at the feedback forum to change the thread title. Only an admin can do that.

You should also consider removing the surgeon's name from your original post for your own protection, or using more neutral/general terms.

It's not worth exposing yourself to liability especially if you aren't the person affected.
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Last edited by Lurkerdoc; 09-08-2018 at 07:21 PM..
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:30 PM   #6
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You can create a request at the feedback forum to change the thread title. Only an admin can do that. --no admin has responded to my request for title change yet

You should also consider removing the surgeon's name from your original post for your own protection, or using more neutral/general terms. -Yep, have edited away the emotive words. Patients frequently lack information when choosing doctors, hence I see my post with the doctor's name included as doing a public service. It is factual that Dr X (pm for identity) missed the cancer when doing the biopsy. This led to a delay in cancer diagnosis, at very high cost to the patient's well-being (think chemo, extra surgery, radiation, and long-term higher risks- all of which could be avoided had the biopsy been performed accurately) . My post did not make judgement on whether missing the cancer counts as negligence or malpractice etc.

It's not worth exposing yourself to liability especially if you aren't the person affected. - I believe my post is written factually enough. I stand for my friend and patient's rights.
Thanks for your inputs Lurkerdoc!

Last edited by htftns; 14-08-2018 at 01:27 PM..
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Old 25-08-2018, 05:08 PM   #7
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Sounds scary :-(
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