Radiation Oncology, Radiation Physics
Ref. # 16008
A Michigan woman was diagnosed with invasive moderately differentiated ductal carcinoma in the left breast. The primary lesion measured 13x7x7 mm, with two nodes positive following lymph node dissection. She underwent radiation treatment for six weeks, during which she developed severe burns and related pain. A dermatologist evaluated the burns and prescribed Silvadence cream and domeboro soaks. Scarring was significant. The patient complained of pain and reduced range of motion to her family physician. An EMG showed left upper extremity branchial plexopathy; an MRI showed a partial tear of the rotator cuff. A medQuest radiation oncologist opined there was an 18%-20% overdose of radiation due to a negligently performed technique. A medQuest physicist specializing in radiation therapy reported the treatment center employed simulations via port film which provided only half the necessary data to calculate the isodose plan. The patient's complications were preventable.