N.L. health district investigating delay in revealing cancer test to woman

Staff ~ Transcontinental Media
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ST. JOHNS, N.L. A Newfoundland health district is investigating why it took a patient several months to learn the results of a test that revealed she has eye cancer.

Colleen Whitehorne, 60, of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, N.L., underwent a biopsy in St. Johns, N.L., in June and the results were available in July.

But Whitehorne wasnt told she had cancer until Jan 19, when it was confirmed she had a low-level eye melanoma. Further testing has also revealed the presence of a brain mass.

There is something very lacking there, Randy Whitehorne, the womans husband, said in a telephone interview from their home.

How many other people out there are caught up in the same situation? Not everyone will go out and dig into it like I did. Thats the sad part about it.

The couple assumed that since nobody told them the results of the biopsy that everything was fine.

Eastern Health said Wednesday it is conducting an internal investigation.

The B.C. Cancer Agency told Eastern Health it reported Whitehornes eye biopsy results in July, but Eastern Health couldnt find a record of it.

It finally reviewed the results in October, but still Whitehorne wasnt given them by her family doctor for another three months.

Organizations: B.C. Cancer Agency

Geographic location: Eastern Health, Newfoundland, Happy Valley Goose Bay

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