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An Irresponsible Cancer Diagnosis Resulted In Death

A 39 year old woman and a mother of two children died of breast cancer due to sheer irresponsibility of the manager of a private clinic in Sheffield. //Dr.John Philip was not qualified to read mammograms according to the former chief executive of the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, David Jackson.

The woman who is identified as Mrs. A, went for a check up in 1994.The doctor, John Philip told her that she was normal. When she went for a second check up in 1996, he found a “shelf” in her right breast, but said there was nothing to worry about.

The third time she came complaining of pain, the doctor then discovered three tumours in her right breast and one under her arm. Chemotherapy and mastectomy were tried but as the cancer had spread to other parts of her body, she died.

The doctor is charged of deliberately destroying the patient’s breast x-rays. The General Medical Council in Manchester, is hearing the case.

The doctor denies destroying the X-rays deliberately. But evidence supports the view that his conduct was irresponsible and unprofessional. The doctor is in his 60s and he could lose his practice if the panel decides against him.

Mr Philip was Clinical director of the Pennine Breast Screening Service, between 1988 and 2003, which is a part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHSTrust. He had also worked for the private Breast Screening Advisory Centre in clinics in Sheffield and Huddersfield.

Sarah Cosgrove, of the GMC, said that the doctor's qualifications did not meet the standards set by appropriate professional body. "In essence the allegations fall in to two parts," she said. "The fact that he reported on the mammogram himself, and that he destroyed the report of the mammogram from 1994." She went on: "He did not have them reviewed by a specialist radiologist and he did not meet the Royal College of Radiologists' Criteria for screen reading within the NHS."
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