Norfolk woman told she has breast cancer — when she doesn’t

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A Norfolk woman called 10 On Your Side after she got a call telling her she was approved for breast cancer treatment. The problem is she doesn’t have breast cancer.

A weekend of frustration began with a phone call for Sandra Farmer.

“From that point on, I’ve been upset about it ever since,” Farmer said.

The phone call from staff at Bon Secours Cancer Institute came with shocking news.

“Well, you have breast cancer and you have a referral,” the voice on the phone told Farmer.

Farmer couldn’t believe it. She asked the woman to repeat what she just said.

“’She said, ‘Ms. Farmer, I’m sorry to alarm you,’ and I said, ‘Alarm is not the word, because I do not have breast cancer,’” Farmer added.

The caller apologized for the mistake.

“I said, ‘Ma’am I’m so upset right now. I need to calm down. I’m about to have a heart attack.’”

Bon Secours told Farmer they received a fax from her insurance company, United Healthcare. The fax approved a series of radiation and other breast cancer treatments. Farmer then called the company.

“I was on hold with United Healthcare for 45 minutes until that Ms. Farmer had enough and I just hung up,” Farmer said.

The company never called her back and Farmer never learned why the fax was sent.

“I have no idea and that’s why I called 10 On Your Side,” Farmer added.

10 On Your Side got in touch with United Healthcare first thing Tuesday morning. They told WAVY News it was a complicated issue and they were still trying to track down what happened.

“I was satisfied with United Healthcare before this happened,” Farmer said. “Now I don’t have any trust in them whatsoever.”