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Woman Sues For Being Misled Into Hysterectomy And Mastectomies

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A woman in Oregon has filed a $1.8 million lawsuit against her doctors, claiming that she underwent an unnecessary double mastectomy and hysterectomy at their suggestions.

Elisha Cooke-Moore, 36, says in her lawsuit that she went through the life-changing surgeries after her gynecologist, Dr. William Fitts, diagnosed through genetic blood tests that she had a 50% chance of developing breast cancer, and up to an 80% chance of uterine cancer, ABC News reports.

In addition, Cooke-Mooe’s nurse practitioner, Lori Johns, likewise recommended a mastectomy after reading the test results, Oregon Live reports. Fitts had erroneously told Cooke-Moore that she had the MLH1 gene mutation and Lynch syndrome, she alleges, which can lead to an increased risk of a number of cancers.

After her surgeries, the test results indicated that there were no such risks, the lawsuit continues.

Cooke-Moore’s lawyer, Christopher Cauble, stated that he and his client are astounded. Cauble said,

Quite frankly, we are stumped to why they would make this mistake.

The lawsuit lists Fitts, along with Curry Medical Practice and Curry Medical Center as defendants. Surgeon Jessica Carlson is included, on the grounds that she should have reviewed the test results and spotted her colleagues’ errors.

Cooke-Moore, a mother of five, manages a laundromat with her husband in Gold Beach. She is on the Oregon Health Plan, and decided to ask her doctor about getting screened for cancer genes, as both her mother and grandmother had cancers. She says she did not learn that her medical providers had made a mistake until she read through her file and examined the test results closely. She had already undergone a hysterectomy in August 2016 and a double mastectomy in October 2016, and called the lab to verify her results.

The lawsuit adds that Carlson bungled the mastectomy and placement of implants, which resulted in Cooke-Moore having to undergo over 10 corrective surgeries for months. She said, “Almost every week, every seven to 10 days, I was in there for surgeries.” She still feels pain daily, and is disfigured. “Sometimes I don’t believe this is real. How could this happen to me?”

Neither Fitts’ nor Carlson’s attorneys responded to requests for comment.

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