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Malpractice Suit?? Initial Full CT scan in one state said all Normal. 4 months later 2nd CT scan in a different state - Stage 4 cancer terminal!

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laurie83833

Junior Member
What is the name of your state? Hello,

I just feel so upset right now. The initial shock of hearing Stage 4 cancer - no cure has lessened some and now the anger about how this was not caught in time and possibly a different outcome for my husband could have been achieved or even as an option initially back in December when he went into emergency room at hospital.

Not sure if we could file a suit against the radiologist in the state where the initial scan was done (Hawaii)... Here are some spec's

December 10th 2018 - Husband was feeling a bit week and out of breath. We took him to the emergency room in a hospital in Hawaii (we live on the islands during the winter months). Husband had colon cancer back in Sept. 2009 but has been NED (no evidence of disease) since that time period. During the exam in the emergency room we did notify physicians of his prior colon cancer, along with about 6 months prior a Heart valve replacement and triple bypass.
They found my husband to have severe anemia which required 2 units of blood, and 3 units of Iron. They ordered a full CT scan of Abdomen and Pelvis.

Scans all came back "normal"no cancer except for a couple kidney stones. There was between 400-500 images taken during the scan at different angles. We were told all was good and that maybe he had some bleeding inside his intestinal track and to have an upper and lower GI done or it could have been from an ulcer or something. We were leaving aback to our mainland home in a month so though we would have the follow up scans done there.

Back at our Idaho home - husband had an upper and lower GI done in March 2019 (which came back all clear). DR. assumed maybe diverticulitis was the reason for the anemia in December. He said no need to come back for another 5 years for a colonoscopy.

May 13th 2019- regular annual scan of lungs Idaho (husband used to be a prior smoker) so they check lungs annually to make sure all is fine. Radiologist on lung scan mentions something out of the ordinary with liver or around liver. Suggest to have follow up CT scan of Abdomen and Pelvis. Full CT scan done - wham your colon cancer has come back and there are tumors all over in your Abdomen, liver, pelvis and possible bone. No cure no surgery.

So in 4-5 months time it went from no signs of cancer to full blown stage IV and no cure. My husbands ONC said that the scan in December should have picked up the cancer easy enough.

Nothing will help my husband at this point unfortunately he has to suffer the consequences well our whole family does. I have on hand all copies of the scans on CD's in my possession and the reports from December until now. We will be going for a 2nd opinion and will have the Dr. read all the prior scans even the one that showed all clear in December.

What legal rights if any do we have if the radiologist in December missed the cancer which cost my husband valuable time and even a possibility of a cure or it is just something that one has to put up with and just forget about it and consider it as part of life?

Thanks much ahead of time.
 


ajkroy

Member
First off, I am sorry for what you and your husband are facing right now. Do you have the original scan? Has any other doctor seen it to verify that the cancer was indeed there?
 

quincy

Senior Member
What is the name of your state? Hello,

I just feel so upset right now. The initial shock of hearing Stage 4 cancer - no cure has lessened some and now the anger about how this was not caught in time and possibly a different outcome for my husband could have been achieved or even as an option initially back in December when he went into emergency room at hospital.

Not sure if we could file a suit against the radiologist in the state where the initial scan was done (Hawaii)... Here are some spec's

December 10th 2018 - Husband was feeling a bit week and out of breath. We took him to the emergency room in a hospital in Hawaii (we live on the islands during the winter months). Husband had colon cancer back in Sept. 2009 but has been NED (no evidence of disease) since that time period. During the exam in the emergency room we did notify physicians of his prior colon cancer, along with about 6 months prior a Heart valve replacement and triple bypass.
They found my husband to have severe anemia which required 2 units of blood, and 3 units of Iron. They ordered a full CT scan of Abdomen and Pelvis.

Scans all came back "normal"no cancer except for a couple kidney stones. There was between 400-500 images taken during the scan at different angles. We were told all was good and that maybe he had some bleeding inside his intestinal track and to have an upper and lower GI done or it could have been from an ulcer or something. We were leaving aback to our mainland home in a month so though we would have the follow up scans done there.

Back at our Idaho home - husband had an upper and lower GI done in March 2019 (which came back all clear). DR. assumed maybe diverticulitis was the reason for the anemia in December. He said no need to come back for another 5 years for a colonoscopy.

May 13th 2019- regular annual scan of lungs Idaho (husband used to be a prior smoker) so they check lungs annually to make sure all is fine. Radiologist on lung scan mentions something out of the ordinary with liver or around liver. Suggest to have follow up CT scan of Abdomen and Pelvis. Full CT scan done - wham your colon cancer has come back and there are tumors all over in your Abdomen, liver, pelvis and possible bone. No cure no surgery.

So in 4-5 months time it went from no signs of cancer to full blown stage IV and no cure. My husbands ONC said that the scan in December should have picked up the cancer easy enough.

Nothing will help my husband at this point unfortunately he has to suffer the consequences well our whole family does. I have on hand all copies of the scans on CD's in my possession and the reports from December until now. We will be going for a 2nd opinion and will have the Dr. read all the prior scans even the one that showed all clear in December.

What legal rights if any do we have if the radiologist in December missed the cancer which cost my husband valuable time and even a possibility of a cure or it is just something that one has to put up with and just forget about it and consider it as part of life?

Thanks much ahead of time.
I am really sorry to hear about your husband's cancer diagnosis. I am sure it is devastating news for your family.

You can speak to a malpractice attorney in your area if the opinion from the second doctor you see agrees that the doctors in Hawaii should have noticed abnormalities on the scans done in December.

Some problems I see offhand are that some cancers grow rapidly and tumors might not have been visible in December. You mentioned that the scans from December were "clear." And you could have a difficult time showing that your husband's prognosis would be different or better had the cancer been noticed earlier and treatment started sooner.

I wish your husband the best.
 

laurie83833

Junior Member
Hi There,

Yes I just received the copy of the original scan with the images for December. I have not had any one look at the scan though as of yet to see if cancer showed there or not. I'm not sure who to get to view with an unbiased view. Doctors usually stick together.. or one would think they would.

We are going for a 2nd opinion and will be bringing all of the CD's (Scans from December, May and this last one June) to a surgical oncologist for a second opinion. I'm not sure if that Dr. though would even say if he say cancer on the first December scan or not even if he did.

husband ONC said that the largest tumor which is over 1 inch round would have taken a while to grow and would have shown on the December scan.
Colon cancer which this is considered even though spread outside the colon is fairly slow growing.
 

laurie83833

Junior Member
Even if you have active colon cancer.. rather lets say one is in remission. They only scan you once a year to see if it is growing again because it is slow growing so if they scan once a year they can catch any new growth.

It was only 4 months that is went from all clear to mass tumors all over.. its like unheard of.
 

quincy

Senior Member
The oncologist you see should give you an honest opinion after viewing the December scans.

I know some cancers are especially aggressive. It is not unheard of to go from a clean scan to one showing numerous growths. This can be especially true when someone has had cancer in the past.
 

laurie83833

Junior Member
OK will have his ONC view the Dec. scans. I have been a member of a colon cancer site for the last 10 years and none of the members well the ones who respond and I communicate with that have colon cancer either in remission, metastatic disease, recurrence etc. say that they not ever seen any type "colon" cancer grow this fast especially colon cancer as it is a slow growing cancer always has been in the pasts maybe my husband has a new strain or something.

I do want to mention between the 2nd CT scan April 13th and the last CT scan end of May the largest tumor grew minimal if at all as both scans list it as the same CM on both report scans in a 6 week period. So it cannot be that fast of a cancer.. Doesn't seem possible it could have went from Zero to as large as it is in 16 weeks if it did not grow any bigger in 6 weeks.

Just seems odd. but yes will have his ONC read the first December scan where the report lists him as normal.

Thank you for your answers.
 

cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
I'm so sorry for what you are going through.

I know it doesn't mean much now, but a few years ago I lost a dear friend to stage four cancer. She died on my wedding anniversary and I got the word while at an event for which the tickets had been my anniversary gift to my husband, so the memory of her death and my anniversary are always tied together.

Despite her cancer being so advanced, her oncologist was firm that it was a fast-growing type and she probably hadn't had it for even six months. So you will definitely want to have a second opinion, and maybe even a third, of whether it could/should have been caught sooner. It does happen.
 

quincy

Senior Member
The oncologist who examines the scans can better tell you if any growths were visible in December and, if so, whether immediate treatment would have significantly changed the course of the disease.

I think support groups serve an important purpose but I caution against comparing cancers. No two people are alike so each body will react differently to both the cancers that afflict them and the successes of their treatments.

Good luck.
 

laurie83833

Junior Member
OK thanks.. His oncologist said already the December scan should have picked it up easy enough and that it is a slow growing cancer. We already know what cancer it is.. and the type.

But I do agree that I will have his Oncologist physically read his December scan and let us know if the cancer shows or not. I would think he would be honest about it.

According to his Oncologist the cancer was there in December thus why he was anemic in the first place and had to get blood transfusion. WE are only going to get a 2nd opinion. We do know husband has cancer and it is stage IV would rather make the most of his time he has left so just another opinion is good enough for us.
 

quincy

Senior Member
OK thanks.. His oncologist said already the December scan should have picked it up easy enough and that it is a slow growing cancer. We already know what cancer it is.. and the type.

But I do agree that I will have his Oncologist physically read his December scan and let us know if the cancer shows or not. I would think he would be honest about it.

According to his Oncologist the cancer was there in December thus why he was anemic in the first place and had to get blood transfusion. WE are only going to get a 2nd opinion. We do know husband has cancer and it is stage IV would rather make the most of his time he has left so just another opinion is good enough for us.
The oncologist will need to read the scans to offer an opinion that is of any worth.

I think you are smart to make the most of the time you and your husband have now.
 
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