Investigation Underway After Pathologist Misdiagnoses Several Patients

It’s always shocking and upsetting to find out you have cancer. But we can only imagine how hard it must be to receive the news that you were improperly diagnosed and actually should have been informed that you had cancer a year or more ago.

Several patients of the Providence health system have been left reeling after learning they learned that their negative pathology tests from months or even more than a year ago were actually positive.

Photo: YouTube/KPTV FOX 12 Oregon

Shockingly, the errors all appear to be linked to the same pathologist, who had been practicing medicine for almost 30 years. Someone noticed a discrepancy in the quality of his work, which led to an investigation into the rest of his caseload and the discovery of at least seven cases in which people were told they didn’t have cancer when they actually did.

Photo: YouTube/KPTV FOX 12 Oregon

We do not yet know whether the doctor simply made mistakes in his judgement of the test results or whether there was some malicious intent or another unknown factor at play. It is unclear whether the doctor in question is still practicing, but he is no longer working at Providence.

Photo: YouTube/KPTV FOX 12 Oregon

Jessica Vicars of Oregon is one of the patients affected by this pathologist’s negligence. She says she’s been getting breast exams every six months since she turned 35 because of a strong family history of breast cancer. Her paternal grandmother died of breast cancer at 55, and her mother died of breast cancer thing at 60. Her mother’s sister has had breast cancer twice.

A year ago, an MRI showed some concerning lumps, so Jessica had a biopsy done. The results of the biopsy, she was told, were negative.

Photo: YouTube/KPTV FOX 12 Oregon

“He basically looked at me and was like, ‘Oh, they’re most likely benign,'” Jessica remembers. She recalls questioning his words and wanting a more definitive answer, but he told her that he’d been doing this for almost 30 years and that, in his opinion, the lumps were benign and were nothing to worry about. So she left it at that.

A year later, she received a call from her primary care physician telling her that her biopsy results had actually been positive. She’d been living with untreated cancer for a full year when she could have spent that time receiving timely treatment.

Photo: YouTube/KPTV FOX 12 Oregon

Jessica was shocked to learn that at least three patients at her clinic alone had gone through a similar situation and that there may be other cases like hers at different clinics throughout the Providence Health Care System.

Jessica is now planning to undergo a full double mastectomy and reconstruction, and she may need chemo and radiation as well depending on the progression of her cancer. She does not know whether she might have been spared the severity of her treatment if her case had been diagnosed earlier.

Photo: YouTube/KPTV FOX 12 Oregon

For many cancer patients, time is of the essence. A few months could mean the difference between a fast and easy course of treatment and a more difficult one, or, in some cases, the difference between life and death.

“I don’t want to go through what my mom did,” Jessica says.

Learn more about Jessica’s story and how this brutal news will impact other Providence patients in the video below.

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