ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A Bosque Farms woman says what happened to her is just wrong and New Mexico’s Medical Review Commission agrees. Now she’s suing, saying because of negligence, a possibly cancerous tumor was left undetected and untreated for years.
Nelda Lucero says she was trying to be proactive. In 2007 her very first mammogram showed a nickel-sized calcification in her right breast. After another screening, Lucero says a doctor told her it was benign.
According to a lawsuit, doctors told her the same thing in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
In 2012, Lucero’s file was selected at random for a review by another doctor. By then the mass was very large and a biopsy showed it was cancer.
“It was awful,” Lucero said. “It was no time to think. It was like my whole life had been jerked out away from me.”
Lucero underwent a full mastectomy of her right breast soon after. Now Lucero is suing the radiology company, claiming their negligence put her life at risk.
Attorney Rick Sandoval is incensed over what happened to his client.
“Her doctor said six months if they hadn’t caught it. She could’ve been gone in six months,” Sandoval said.
In late April, the state Medical Review Commission voted Lucero was a victim of professional negligence.
Sandoval says cases like Lucero’s happen all too often.
“You have to be your best advocate,” Sandoval said. “Diagnostic errors occur up to 85,000 times a year. If you don’t think you’re getting the right care, get to a doctor.”
Lucero says she’s still dealing with the fallout, both medically and emotionally.
Sandoval says even though the radiology company has been found negligent by the state Medical Review Commission, the company essentially has immunity for acts that occurred before 2010 because of the limitations statute under the Medical Malpractice Act.
Attempts by KRQE to reach defendants listed in the lawsuit were unsuccessful.