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Breast cancer error report delayed


17 December, 2007  

A report into how a breast cancer patient in the Republic of Ireland was incorrectly given the all-clear by a hospital has been delayed, it has emerged.

Rebecca O’Malley underwent a fine needle biopsy in Limerick in March 2005, and the results from Cork University Hospital (CUH) said the sample was benign.

But later the 41-year-old from Co Tipperary suffered pain in her breast and a second biopsy confirmed she had cancer. She then had to have a mastectomy and intensive chemotherapy.

An investigation was launched by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and it was due to report back now, but Dr Michael Durkin said new information, which is not being made public, has been presented and needs to be examined.

Dr Durkin said: “It would be premature to publish the report now and make recommendations without fully investigating the new information which has come to light.

“In keeping with our terms of reference, and in the public interest, we are now deferring the publication of our final report until next month.”

Ms O’Malley said: “The important thing I feel for me and the women of Ireland is that we get to the truth of what happened and the matter is fully investigated.

“It would be a mistake for the report to be released before it is completed.”

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