Woman has unnecessary mastectomy, hysterectomy after misdiagnosis

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MIDLAND COUNTY (WJRT) - (07/20/17) - A Midland County woman told a blood test revealed it was likely she would develop breast cancer took her doctor's advice, and had a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy.

Shortly after those surgeries, she was stunned to find out those surgeries were not necessary.

In an ABC12 News investigation, Terry Camp tells us what she now wants from the doctors and hospitals involved.

Colleen Hanna was having breast pain in October of 2012. She went to a doctor and court records indicate an ultrasound and mammogram were normal. Other tests were done, again, they came back normal, but then, she got some bad news.

“It's a fearful situation,” Hanna said.

In November, as she was getting ready for another medical test, court papers show her medicals indicated she was BRCA positive.

“It occurred a few weeks before Christmas, so the holidays were, you don't know what's going to happen,” Hanna said.

The BRCA gene test is a blood test that uses DNA analysis to identify harmful mutations in either one of the two breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility genes, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. A woman who tests positive is more susceptible to developing breast and ovarian cancer. Doctors recommended Hanna have a double mastectomy, the removal of both breasts, to reduce the risk that she would develop breast cancer.

“It’s extremely hard to put into words the emotionally distress that occurred leading up to my mastectomy,” Hanna said.

There was more, however. The lawsuit indicates that medical records showed Hanna was BRCA1 and BRCA2 positive. Doctors recommend a hysterectomy, which she had done in May 2014.

“Every day I look into the mirror and I am reminded of it, I cannot escape what happened to me,” Hanna said.

She certainly could not escape what happened the following year.

“One of her family members’ doctors wanted a copy of the BRCA report, that she began to look for this report, and then was told, they couldn't locate the report. Well, they couldn't locate it because they had never done the test,” said Hanna’s attorney Victor Mastromarco.

Hanna and Mastromarco say that somehow that BRCA1 positive blood test, which lead the way to a double mastectomy and hysterectomy, never happened. That somehow, the notation in her medical record that she was BRCA positive was a mistake. Court papers show she underwent BRCA testing in November 2016. The test came back negative.

“You have to tell someone that you don't, it was needless, it devastated my entire family, it’s hard to explain the distraught emotions that went into, how did this happen, why did it happen,” Hanna said.

Hanna is suing four medical institutions, including Mid Michigan Physicians Group in Midland, and five doctors for negligence and fraud. Hanna and her attorney say they all had a hand in the misdiagnosis.

“Unbelievable carelessness, and arrogance, the doctors just proceeding on, and can't imagine a doctor not looking at a, at least a report of an x-ray before doing surgery on somebody. They didn't do this at all,” Mastromarco said.

All defendants in the case have filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and their attorneys are not commenting at this time.

“People cannot fathom what I have had to go through and it’s permanently disfiguring,” Hanna said.

Hanna says at this time, she is not a candidate for reconstructive surgery.

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