Woman Shares the Horrific Consequences of a Cancer Misdiagnosis

Posted on September 30, 2015 by Shapiro Law Group

A 22-year-old Washington woman has shared a terrifying story of how she was misdiagnosed with cancer due to faulty pregnancy tests and medical negligence. Pregnancy tests made by Abbot Laboratories had been used by her doctor to detect high levels of the hormone HCG, which is present when women are pregnant or have a rare but aggressive form of cancer. No other signs of pregnancy could be found in the woman, causing her doctor to suspect a gestational trophoblastic tumor.

This specific type of cancer can be treated, but chemotherapy and other procedures must begin right away before it can spread. Her doctor began chemotherapy, but it did not lower the levels of HCG. To stop the spread of the non-existent tumor, doctors performed a hysterectomy, causing the woman to become permanently infertile. She could now never fulfill her dream of having children on her own.

As it turns out, the pregnancy tests used to diagnose the cancer were flawed. The woman had a rare genetic condition present in 10 percent of the population that can cause high levels of HCG. Attorneys representing the woman were fortunately able to obtain her a $16 million settlement from both the hospital and Abbot Laboratories, but she will never be able to have children without the use of a surrogate. Abbot Laboratories maintained its products were only meant for pregnancy tests, and not to diagnose cancer.

Cancer Misdiagnosis Can Ruin Lives

Medical negligence can sometimes have permanent consequences for surviving patients. However, with the $16 million secured from her lawsuit, the woman plans to freeze her eggs and use a surrogate mother so she can fulfill her dream of having children. This may have not been possible had the woman lost her lawsuit or obtained a far less amount.

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Tags: Cancer


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