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Lawsuit: Mammogram Injury Boosted Cancer

November 22, 2011
Written by: , Filed in: Breast Imaging
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A woman from Victoria, British Columbia, is suing a mammography technician and a clinic for an injury that occurred during a mammogram. She says the injury accelerated the growth of her breast cancer.

Joy Ann McKerr said in her lawsuit that she visited the B.C. Mammography Screening Clinic in Victoria on October 3, 2008, according to the Times Colonist newspaper of Victoria. At the time she was 60 with no health concerns, said her lawyer, Jacqueline Horton.

When McKerr’s left breast was compressed during the mammogram, McKerr told the technician she felt severe pain, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit said the technician ignored her. When both the compression and the pain increased, the lawsuit said, McKerr asked the technician to stop. The technician instead told McKerr to hold her breath, the lawsuit said.

At that point, according to the lawsuit, McKerr felt something rupture. Her breast became swollen and bruised, and she was in extreme pain, Horton said.

Five days later, McKerr’s family doctor diagnosed a hematoma. On October 20, according to the lawsuit, McKerr discovered that the mammogram results showed an abnormality in each breast. Meanwhile, Horton said, McKerr continued to suffer  swelling and pain in her left breast.

In January 2009, the lawsuit said, an ultrasound showed a large mass in McKerr’s left breast, in the area of the hematoma. The next month, the suit said, she was diagnosed with inflammatory carcinoma. She underwent chemotherapy, radiation, and a partial mastectomy, then had a recurrence of the cancer in March 2011, the lawsuit said.

Horton said a medical expert would testify that the trauma suffered during the mammogram accelerated the growth of a cancer that otherwise would have remained so small that it would not have shown itself for months or years.

McKerr ran a downsizing and relocating business before her illness. An economist consulted by her legal team has estimated her total economic loss at $2.2 million. Her cost for future care is estimated at $247,000. She is also seeking damages of $100,000 to $135,000 for pain and suffering and shortened life expectancy.

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2 Responses to “Lawsuit: Mammogram Injury Boosted Cancer”

  1. Thomas on November 25th, 2011 at 11:46 am

    What a crock! It is always somebody else’s fault when misfortune strikes.

    She may have a claim if the tech really ignored her requests to stop. Should be worth around $10 or so. But to claim that the compression caused or exacerbated her cancer? No!

  2. Radiology Daily»AlertArchive » Mammogram Injury Lawsuit Award: $77,500 on December 14th, 2012 at 11:15 am

    […] woman, Joy Ann McKerr of Victoria, British Columbia, is now seriously ill. She sued last year, as we reported in November 2011. She said a routine mammogram on October 3, 2008, caused severe pain in her left breast and […]