Saturday, 2 August 2008

Cancer-test blunder for 70 men

UP to 70 men may have been misdiagnosed in a prostate cancer scandal at a West Wales hospital.

It is feared that the men were either wrongly given the all-clear when they did have prostate cancer, or have undergone unnecessary treatment for a disease they never had.

A legal firm today revealed it is representing one man who was wrongly given the all-clear by the former Carmarthenshire NHS Trust. The 58-year-old from Llanelli has since been diagnosed with the disease and is still waiting for his treatment to start.

The trust, which has now become part of the new Hywel Dda NHS Trust, was forced to review more than 500 men’s prostate cancer tests earlier this year.

Fears about the scale of the Carmarthenshire cancer scandal comes as it emerged that more than 30 patients at Hereford County Hospital had also been misdiagnosed following mistakes reading tissue samples.

Tim Deeming, from law firm Irwin Mitchell, told the Western Mail he had been instructed to act on behalf of a patient who has been affected by the Carmarthenshire mix-up.

He said: “I know of two patients who have been misdiagnosed and expect to hear from others, as these incidents are, in all likelihood, just the tip of the iceberg.

“It is our understanding that of the 500 reviews carried out by Carmarthenshire NHS Trust up to 70 patients may have been given the wrong diagnosis.

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