Fourteen Month Delay in Diagnosis Leads to Double Mastectomy, Woman Says
By William Dotinga
PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - A woman underwent a double mastectomy 14 months after a Kaiser clinic nurse practitioner told her a lump was "nothing to worry about."
Kelly O'Malley-McKee, 37, says in her Multnomah County complaint that she first visited a Portland Kaiser Permanente clinic in February 2011, after she felt a lump in her left breast. After an examination by an unnamed nurse practitioner - involving no ultrasound or mammogram - O'Malley-McKee was "reassured there was nothing to worry about."
The woman returned to the clinic in April 2012, when doctors discovered a one inch cancerous lesion on her left breast. A biopsy showed invasive ductal carcinoma - when cancer cells have spread beyond the milk ducts and into other tissue - with metastases. O'Malley-McKee says she underwent a lumpectomy and chemotherapy, but uncertainty in the course of treatment eventually led doctors to perform a double mastectomy in November 2012.
O'Malley-McKee seeks $22.5 million in damages for medical negligence from Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest, Northwest Permanente and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals.
She is represented by J. William Savage and Carol Hepburn of Portland, Ore.