Kaiser Diagnoses Woman's Melanoma as Old Age Spot, She Claims
2-15-2013 14:03:00

(CN) - A woman with a family history of skin cancer claims a Kaiser Permanente physician assistant told her a lump was likely an old age spot - rather than stage III malignant melanoma.

Leas'sa Sprehn says in her Baltimore City court complaint that she first visited Kaiser Permanente's dermatology department in April 2011, after discovering a small lump on her head. After co-defendant Ilene Bloom PA examined her - and without ordering blood work or a biopsy - Bloom told Sprehn that the lump was likely an age spot and of no concern.

Sprehn says that in late December 2011, she discovered a second lump in her neck and felt fatigued. She saw her primary care provider who ordered lab work, a 10-day course of antibiotics and sent her to an oncologist for a needle biopsy.

According to the complaint, the biopsy showed stage III malignant melanoma, and oncologists immediately determined that the source of the cancer was the lump on her head - first examined and dismissed by Bloom eight months before.

Sprehn and her husband seek damages for medical negligence. They are represented by Paul J. Weber and Lisa Mannisi of the firm Hyatt & Weber in Annapolis, Md.