Former patient of Allison Breast Center urges more women to get second mammogram
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A former patient of the Allison Breast Center is asking anyone who went to the now-closed facility to get their records and get a new mammogram.
That’s because she just found out she’s has breast cancer. Her new radiologist told her it went undiagnosed, even though she had a mammogram at Allison Breast Center in March of this year.
Every year, women over 40 step in front of a machine to get a mammogram and insurance usually pays for it.
This year, women who went to the Allison Breast Center in Henrico can’t go back. It’s now closed and patients are rushing to get their records.
Barbara Goode wants to make sure women get this message.
“I don’t know what’s gonna happen to the people that still don’t know about it. Or know about him until they get to the next year when they don’t get a call about coming in for their annual,” said Goode. “I want everybody to go again.”
Go again and get a new mammogram, from a new facility.
Barbara says a friend alerted her to the Virginia Board of Medicine suspending the license of Doctor Michael John Bigg at the Allison Breast Center. In a 64 page report, the board details allegations over the misread mammograms of 18 patients. In the report, it calls Dr. Bigg: “incompetent to practice medicine and surgery with safety to patients and the public.”
Barbara also watched NBC12′s prior stories about other women who had their mammograms and ultrasounds misread.
She was at Allison for a mammogram on March 26 of this year.
“Even though I took it (got a mammogram) in March, just something told me to take it again because if he was misreading people’s mammograms, I thought ‘I need it done,‘” said Goode.
She immediately and relentlessly worked to get her records from past mammograms at Allison.
Her insurance wouldn’t pay for a second mammogram, but she says Henrico Doctors’ Hospital offered her a special rate as a past patient of Allison Breast Center.
“When I had it, they found a mass. Small mass,” said Goode.
“Did they see it on the past records too?” On Your Side Investigator Rachel DePompa asked?
“The radiologist at Henrico Doctors’ saw the mass on the one he took, and he saw it on the one that Allison Breast Center took for the last two years,” she says.
On the report from her mammogram at Allison in March, Dr. Bigg noted no suspicious microcalcifications or masses are seen. No findings suspicions of malignancy are identified.
She says Dr. Bigg, “puts up the Xrays (mammogram films) of both years, and he compares them and he says no changes from last year - you’re good to go. I’ll see you next year.”
Goode tells us she didn’t think anything was wrong. And now she’s having a lumpectomy. A biopsy two weeks ago, confirmed cancer. The lumpectomy, as well as the removal of some lymph nodes, will eventually tell her what stage. So far, her treatment will include radiation.
She believes her story is a warning for any former patient who had a scan in the last year at Allison Breast Center needs a second look at a new facility.
“They should go and get it done again because there’s a chance that there could be something wrong,” said Goode.
In a civil suit filed by the family of one of the women in the medical board’s report, Dr. Bigg denies the allegations. A hearing about the suspended license will be scheduled sometime this fall.
In the meantime, Barbara’s filed a complaint with the board of medicine and is urging any former patients of Allison to get a new mammogram.
Her battle with cancer is just beginning.
Here are ways you can contact the office:
- If calling the office is not working, also try to fax and email: To request your records, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or send a fax to 804-285-3245.
- NBC12 is also hearing from a few women who had luck mailing in an official medical release form to the Allison Breast Center office. Records were then released to the new facility administering breast exams or they received the records in the mail at home. So, also try to mail your request.
- You can also try to go to the office on the hours listed in the phone message.
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