After the Mathes family heard about a genetic test that could check for increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, several of them underwent the evaluation offered by Myriad Genetics, Inc. The Mathes family, whose relatives have a history of cancer, were shocked to find that seven of thirteen of the women in their family tested positive for a mutation on the BRCA gene. The BRCA gene was regarded at the time to be an indicator of increased risk of certain types of cancer. Presented with the jarring set of statistics, such as results indicating an 84% chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer and a 27% chance of ovarian cancer by age 70, the Mathes women underwent extensive surgery to avoid contracting these diseases. The surgeries included the removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes as well as double mastectomy procedures.
The consequences for undergoing these surgeries were great: the Mathes women lost the ability to bear children, experienced major physical discomfort, as well as emotional and mental trauma. Katy Mathes, an elementary school teacher, was forced to undergo additional surgeries during her limited time on school break to correct complications that resulted from the original procedures. After years of difficulties arising from the gene mutation diagnosis and the procedures, the Mathes family was devastated to find that the genetic test results they had been given may have been incorrect.
Returning to the genetic counselor, Katy Mathes was surprised and upset to hear that Myriad Genetics was rescinding its claim that the BRCA mutation was actually harmful. Myriad changed its classification of the gene from “pathogenic” to “unknown significance,” now indicating that the total lifetime risk of cancer for the Mathes family was only 21%. Though still higher than that of the average population, Katy Mathes claimed this information would have certainly changed her decision-making process for undergoing such extensive and life-altering surgeries.
Consult a Lawyer About Medical Misdiagnosis to Recover Compensation for Your Suffering
If you or a loved one underwent surgery only to find out your genetic test results may have been inaccurate, it is important to seek out legal counsel to get the recovery you deserve. Medical professionals have a responsibility to diagnosis their patients accurately, and you could be entitled to recover damages if you have experienced this type of medical malpractice. The losses you could recover include economic damages for medical costs and lost wages as well as noneconomic damages for the pain and suffering and mental anguish experienced by the stress of misdiagnosis.
The lawyers at Domnick Cunningham & Yaffa are practiced in handling these delicate cases with care, compassion, and skill. Our firm has the resources to take on medical facilities and practitioners who could be responsible for your personal injury. Contact us today to discuss your case with a qualified misdiagnosis lawyer.