Doctor accused of missing signs of cancer in woman, 84.


Byline: Mass. Lawyers Weekly Staff

The plaintiff's decedent was an 84-year-old woman with a history of smoking. On April 30, 2011, she underwent a chest CT scan after presenting to the emergency room for left-side flank pain. The CT revealed small nodules in the right upper and left upper lobes of her lung. The radiologist recommended a follow-up chest CT in three months.

On May 10, 2011, the decedent presented to her primary care physician for follow-up care and treatment. Her physician reviewed the hospital record and noted a question of a tiny nodularity in the lung with recommended follow-up in three months.

As recommended, on Aug. 12, 2011, the decedent underwent a follow-up chest CT ordered by her PCP, which showed no significant changes. The radiologist recommended that re-evaluation be considered in 12 months.

Over the next year and a half, the decedent repeatedly complained of a persistent cough for which her PCP treated her with antibiotics. She also complained of fatigue and weight loss.

In November 2013, more than two years after her first chest CT scan, the decedent began complaining to her PCP of severe back pain that radiated to her right upper chest.

In January 2014, the decedent underwent a thoracic MRI, which revealed a large right lung mass with metastasis to the spinal canal, which resulted in a pathologic fracture and cord compression. Soon after, she was diagnosed with Stage IV non-small cell adenocarcinoma of the lung with metastatic lesions to the...

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