Inaccurate cancer tests leave two dead

January 18, 2008

Inaccurate cancer tests may have contributed to the deaths of two people and thousands must be retested after a North Wales doctor misread test results.

Approximately 4,500 people need retesting after a clinical examination of cancer tests given by Dr. Roger Williams discovered 12 questionable results -- two which belonged to two dead patients, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.

Three people who Williams, 64, told were cancer-free have begun treatment for the disease. He reportedly resigned from his job as a part-time clinician after the errors were found.

People tested by Williams as far back as 2004 are set for re-examination.

"The errors initially identified three patients who had been advised that their tissue samples did not give reason for concern when in fact they should have been told that they were clinically suspicious and, in some cases, actually indicative of cancer," a statement from the North East Wales NHS Trust said.

The results of the 4,500 test re-examinations will give doctors a fix on whether it is a marginal or significant problem, said Chief Executive of the Trust, Marry Burrows.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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