Diagnosed With Breast Cancer? Always Get a Second Opinion, Experts Say


"I went to the lawyer, he said he had good news and bad news for me," Valencia said. "I said, 'give me the good news first' and he said, 'you are cancer free, you have no cancer, never had cancer.'"

So after undergoing a double mastectomy, having both breasts removed, Valencia was now being told she never had breast cancer at all. Bereznoff said it was a mistake that never should have happened.

"The pathologists at this institution had doubt about what they were looking at," he said. "When they wrote the report, they didn't have clarification. They gambled. Judy Valencia lost."

Port said there are people who are misdiagnosed based on someone not having enough expertise to know what is in front of them.

"It is important to stack the odds in your favor, putting together a team that deals with this a lot," she said. "What they eat, sleep and breathe is taking care of patients with breast cancer or think their might have breast cancer, that's how you stack the odds."

Judy Valencia's second opinion came too late, but she said she is telling her story in hopes that other people will learn from her ordeal. She is suing the hospital and the doctors who initially diagnosed her with breast cancer for damages.

"Nothing is the same," she said. "But I can hug my grandchildren and I'm here and I'm cancer free."

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