Letters to the editor
Editor: Maureen Thiel drowned in cancer fluid from her lungs. It had spread many other places as well. Two weeks before she died the cancer had eaten through her spine in three places, collapsing her vertebrae. She would scream in pain for the last weeks of her life.
She left me with nightmares and our sons, Erik and Ryan, with memories you would not want to bear.
Maureen's death was due to medical error. Three doctors examined her breast lump for over two years, telling us it's only a cyst, common in women, don't worry.
The fourth opinion had a different tune: stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Maureen died a terrible death 15 months later.
Had the doctors followed the guidelines set forth by the National Cancer Institute, she might be alive. It's hard to believe they spend millions of dollars writing guidelines but not one penny is spent to mandate that doctors follow them.
Maureen's story will be replicated, over and over. If you are a woman and find a breast lump, ask your doctor for a copy of these guidelines. Make sure you and your doctor follow them; it could save your life. Write your local legislator or call and ask them why there is nothing being done to mandate that doctors follow the guidelines of the National Cancer Institute. Ask them what they're doing about it.