Cancer is a diagnosis that no one in Pittsburgh ever wants to hear. Cancer affects thousands of people each year and an early diagnosis is often critical in a patient having the best survival chance. The failure to diagnose cancer can have a serious effect on a patient. A husband from Squirrel Hill recently received a multi-million dollar verdict after the death of his wife who didn't receive a timely diagnosis of liver cancer.
In 2007 the woman complained of enlarged lymph nodes and a possible case of lymphoma. A CT scan revealed a liver abrasion of 1.9 centimeters. The patient was referred to a specialist and in April 2008 he didn't recommend a biopsy. In August 2009 he recommended just watching and waiting. The patient continued to see the specialist and others at UPMC but a follow up scan was never ordered. In May 2011 a scan was completed at the Mayo Clinic where is revealed an enlarged liver lesion that was 11 centimeters long and was a malignant tumor. She died in June 2012. Her family argues that if the tumor would have been thoroughly investigated earlier she could have made a complete recovery. The courts agreed and awarded her husband $5.7 million.