Onclogists panel to probe chemo on woman without malignancy

Woman given chemo after wrong diagnosis, probe ordered

Kottayam: A three-member committee of oncologists has been set up to probe into the incident in which a 38-year-old woman had to undergo chemotherapy at the Government Medical College Hospital, Kottayam, after being wrongly diagnosed with breast cancer.

The panel comprising Dr Viswanathan, Department of Surgery, and Dr Krishna, Department of Pathology, of Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital, and Dr Ajayakumar, Department of Radiotherapy, Kozhikode Medical College Hospital, has been directed to submit its report in a week’s time, said Medical Education Director Dr Ramla Beevi.

The Principal of the Government Medical College, Kottayam, had earlier investigated and submitted a report on the incident. The expert panel consisting of cancer-care specialists attached to different medical colleges in the state was constituted after he gave a clean chit to the Oncology doctors at the hospital, inviting widespread criticism.

The incident came to light when the victim, Rajani, a native of Kudassanadu in Alappuzha, lodged a complaint with the hospital authorities. She had been subjected to chemotherapy at the hospital’s oncology department in February on the basis of a report from a private lab where her sample was tested.

The woman, who had a six-centimetre-long lump on a breast, also lodged a complaint with the Gandhinagar police station. The police have registered cases against two doctors at the medical college hospital and the private diagnostic centre at Gandhinagar, which carried out the mammogram-- x-ray image of the breast -- and tru-cut biopsy tests.

The woman later approached the Regional Cancer Centre in Thiruvananthapuram for a breast scan, which showed that there was no malignancy.

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