Gothenburg cancer scandal grows

TT/Rebecca Martin
TT/Rebecca Martin - [email protected]
Gothenburg cancer scandal grows

At least 24 more cases of missed cancer diagnoses from a doctor employed at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg in western Sweden have been discovered.


"It is unacceptable error that has been made and we are now doing everything we can to contact the affected patients," said head physician Mats Tullberg to news agency TT.

Earlier this spring Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) reported that a doctor had missed at least 27 skin cancer diagnoses over a period of several years.

Shortly after, the hospital announced that they had decided to retest samples taken by the doctor spanning a period of up to five years.

"A follow up examination of tests from pigmented skin lesions revealed 27 cases of misdiagnosis. These can be connected to a pathologist who was employed on an hourly basis as a pensioner and who is no longer working at the hospital," they said in a statement at the time.

The doctor was a long-term employee at the hospital until mid May and the hospital felt it was unable to rule out the possibility of more undetected cases.

The investigation discovered several more cases of misdiagnosis and the hospital started to contact the patients concerned last Friday, They are hoping to have been in touch with everyone by the end of the week.

According to specialist John Paoli of Sahlgrenska, there are many patients that are concerned after the discoveries of misdiagnosis.

“But most can feel reassured that they have received the correct treatment,” he said to Göteborgsposten.

According to Paoli, a tissue sample is always removed with a large safety margin before being sent to the pathologist for evaluation.

This means that the misdiagnoses of the pathologist may not have such major ramifications, he said to Göteborgsposten.

“But we are bringing everyone in for a new test. Of course we must be on the safe side,” said Paoli to Göteborgsposten.

The hospital has decided to widen the investigation to include samples taken by the doctor between 1999 and 2005.

In the wake of the last discovery Linköping University Hospital in central Sweden announced plans to review diagnoses by a doctor previously reported seven times for misdiagnosing cancer following revelations of similar errors.


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