Shiloh, 13, dies of breast cancer after long medical wandering: ‘There was the possibility that she would pull through’

In March 2021, 12-year-old Shiloh confides in her mother that she has strange bumps on her left breast. Diane looks, and notices that there is “little pimples and a kind of orange peel”relates The Parisian. She then takes her daughter to the Women’s Imaging Center, in Val-d’Oise, where the family is settled. A radiologist finds that the breast is “swollen, hot and painful”.

No mammogram

The doctor refuses to do a mammogram to the young girl because this examination is not recommended at this age. Today, the management of the center explains on a daily basis: “The mammary gland of young patients and, even more of children or adolescents, being very sensitive to radiation, mammography is therefore not recommended by learned societies before the age of 30, and when it is exceptionally indicated before, it must be done object of an indication discussed collectively with a gynecologist”.

In addition, it is commonly considered that a teenager cannot have breast cancer because it is extremely rare. So an ultrasound is performed. Results and symptomss “clinically evoked an inflammatory or infectious process of the mastitis type, infinitely more frequent at that age”.

A long medical wandering

The problem is that Shiloh’s condition is not improving, and the family is not convinced by this diagnosis. On April 6, Diane takes her daughter to an emergency department. Again, it is mastitis that is diagnosed. For 15 days, the teenager takes antibiotics and is referred to a dermatologist. But there is still no positive development a month later. “Shiloh was very tired, she had trouble standing”recalls his mother.

On May 2, she discovers stains on her daughter’s sheets: her breast has started to ooze. Back to the emergency room, where the wait is endless. Eventually, Shiloh was put on antibiotics and hospitalized for 9 days before she could be discharged, without a diagnosis being made and her condition not having really improved. At this time, social services are also involved in doing it because of suspicions of abuse.

Meanwhile, the teenager’s condition continues to deteriorate. It wasn’t until early summer, after Shiloh turned 13 on June 14, that the parents got a biopsy done. While waiting for the results, the family consults another dermatologist who, very worried, sends her to the gynecological emergencies of the Franco-British hospital of Levallois-Perret. It is only then that the diagnosis will be revealed: she has a grade II mammary angiosarcoma, a malignant tumor. If the cancer is lodged in the girl’s chest, it is not breast cancer, explains the doctor who treated her: “It settled on the breast but could also have appeared elsewhere on the body.”

Chemotherapy not enough

On August 18, Shiloh begins his chemotherapy protocol at the Institut Curie, in Paris. Although the results seem positive at first, it is the relapse. Metastases appear, and the teenager dies on December 8, 2021, nine months after the appearance of her first symptoms.

Parents start legal battle

“Caught in time, there was the possibility that she would make it. Even if it takes ten years, I will go all the way”says Diane, who has embarked on a legal battle, at the Parisian. Supported by Shiloh’s father, Mobido, she plans to file a complaint against the health establishments and the attending physician who examined their daughter without detecting the disease, convinced that it is this medical error that is responsible for her death after long months of suffering.

Me Sabine Doucinaud, family lawyer, plans to plead the refusal of care: “We should never have sent Shiloh home in her condition. The doctors didn’t know what she had, they should have kept her”. For Diane, the problem is that the doctors did not want to believe that the teenager could have cancer in her breast: “My daughter died because she was 12”. “When I said it was cancer, I was told: ‘But madam, breast cancer at 12 years old does not exist'”she recalls.

Nearby Parisiana doctor points out the “exceptional character” of Shiloh’s disease, which may have pushed all these doctors to sweep away this hypothesis. In an article published in the journal John Libbey Eurotextwhich he cites, only “eight cases of breast angiosarcoma” were treated and monitored at the Institut Gustave-Roussy in France, “over a period of nearly 40 years, all in adults over 32. None in children”. And only one patient had metastases.

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