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Squamous Cell Carcinoma Malpractice

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Posted: May 2, 2016

Ms. LM was born on 10/9/1936. Medical problems included hypertension, dyslipedemia, and diabetes. She developed various symptoms, including ear pain, referring to the inner ear over about a year and by the time she came to **** **** Hospital and the diagnosis was established, she had left eye blindness, left facial paralysis, lost more than 50lbs of weight, and she had significantly deteriorated. The note by Dr. OA on 8/13/2009 indicates that she had been treated for ear infection, with various antibiotics, including Vancomycin for the diagnosis of MRSA; MRI 7/19/09 was interpreted to support this diagnosis.  I also reviewed records form the Department of Health that included University Hospital records, some of the notes are faded and unclear, but she was admitted there in 9/09 and had a CT scan, which was also understood to show chronic infection and mastoiditis. It appears that symptoms have begun significantly before that time.

She came to **** **** Hospital, where the diagnosis of cancer was made in July 2009. She had significantly deteriorated at that point, having lost 50lbs over the previous 6 months and was at risk for developing bedsores. She had a PEG inserted in Beth Israel but it had to be removed because of vomiting. She ultimately passed away in ***** **** Hospital and an autopsy restricted to the brain on 2/22/2010 confirmed squamous cell cancer of the pituitary that penetrated pituitary capsule and sella turcica.


I am a licensed and board-certified physician in internal medicine and medical oncology. I am licensed in NY and NJ and I am certified by the American board of Utilization Review and Quality Assurance and have a Worker’s Compensation Board number in New York State.  All my opinions are to reasonable degree of medical probability and may be revised if more information becomes available.


There was a violation of the standard of care in failing to diagnose and treat Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the left ear. The cancer was curable at that point. Because of the pain, left facial paralysis, pain and other left ear symptoms, this patient significantly deteriorated, lost weight and was otherwise negatively affected, leading to her demise in summer of 2009. Had the cancer been diagnosed and promptly treated in the localized stage, Ms. LF would not have died and would have had a better quality of life prior to demise.