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Radiation Overdose at the Beatson Oncology Centre

Radiotherapy is used in the treatment of different types of cancer. The Beatson Oncology cancer centre in Glasgow is said to have given overdose of radiation to about 39 people over// a period of 20 years. But only one case has surfaced which has led to the inquiry of the overdose in the case of a 15 year old teenager. She was 19 overdoses at this Centre. This overdose has caused a lot of pain and burned her skin. She had to undergo a cycle of treatments in a hyperbaric chamber in Dundee.

This was done to reduce the effects of the overdosage. But Beatson's medical director, Alan Rodger, guaranteed the public that there was no other case in which the treatment provided by the hospital was compromised. In response to this Katharine Tylko, who runs a cancer support group in Bath, Somerset, says that there are other 44 serious mistakes in the radiotherapy which could be attributed to Beatson. The Greater Glasgow Health Board has accepted this accusation.

A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow said that about 29,000 treatments were provided to patients from 1985 at the Beatson Oncology Centre. Out of which 46 such incidents have occurred where in the treatment given was different than that was planned. It was found that about 12 cases were continued with the differed treatment because the probability of the benefits of tumor control or cure significantly outweighed any potential side effects of radiotherapy. Majority of such cases had no adverse effect except that of the case of Lisa. But Mrs. Tylko has called for better monitoring system so that such cases are avoided.


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