Friday, July 19, 2013

Woman gets chemo only to find out she never had cancer

RHerlinda Garcia said she became a "whole different person" after her doctor told her she had stage IV breast cancer. The 54-year-old mother of four had gone through a procedure to remove a tumor from her left breast when she got the grim diagnosis.

"When you're told you have stage IV terminal cancer, that's it," she said to CBS affiliate KHOU in Houston. "I put trust in the doctor."

She underwent a grueling eight rounds of chemotherapy over seven months. Then she went to another doctor to treat her anxiety, and he gave her some shocking news: She never had cancer in the first place. One of the nation's top hospitals, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, performed additional tests and confirmed that her original diagnosis was false.

"I was happy, but at the same time, I had that anger. The damage had been done," she said.

Medical mistakes this extreme are, fortunately, rare. "In 33 years in medicine, I've never heard of a case like this," said CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook. Read more >>
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