Newfoundland health officials reveal botched breast cancer results


Credits: Morgan Ian Adams/Collingwood Enterprise-Bulletin/QMI Agency


Nine breast cancer patients in Newfoundland and Labrador were given the wrong test results, the province's biggest health authority admitted Friday.

Wrongly diagnosed with a more aggressive form of breast cancer than they had, eight of the patients were treated with the antibiotic Herceptin, which can have adverse effects such as nausea or even heart failure.

So far, none of the patients have experienced side-effects.

"On behalf of Eastern Health, I want to publicly apologize to those nine patients," Vickie Kaminski, president and CEO of the health authority, said in a statement. "This is a very distressing time for our patients and their families and we are offering whatever support they need at this time."

The mistakes were caught because of Eastern Health's quality assurance program, implemented in the wake of a judicial inquiry into a slew of botched breast cancer results between 1997 and 2005.

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