A 23-year-old woman with a long family history of cancer underwent a double prophylactic mastectomy after a genetic test revealed she was positive for the BRCA1 mutation. She made the decision after consulting with her genetic researcher.
Many years later, however, it turned out she was not positive for that mutation and had not needed to undergo the double mastectomy.
Maureen Boesen, the woman in question, shared her experience in an editorial for HuffPost. She explained that she learned about the mistake almost a decade later, when she spoke to a different genetic researcher about her situation.
“I should have been doing cartwheels down the street,” she wrote. “So why wasn’t I? Because I was in a daze of disbelief. I couldn’t stop thinking back to 2008 when I looked the researcher in the eye and asked him if there was any possibility that his results were wrong. He told me no, and he was wrong.”
Boesen wanted answers to many, many questions. It was too late to seek legal action due to the medical malpractice statute of limitation, but she still wanted to know what had happened. She was able to confirm, however, that her genetic researcher had made the mistake; it was not a mix-up with the test itself.
To read Boesen’s full story on HuffPost, including what she took away from the experience, click the link below.