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Wrong patient’s breast removed in Japan cancer center


Tokyo: In Chiba Cancer Centre a wrong woman’s breast has been removed who was in her 30s after her biopsy reports mixed with other woman in her 50s.

The two women samples were collected at the hospital in Chuo Ward, Chiba, on the same day in mid-October. They underwent needle biopsies, in which cellular tissue is collected by piercing the breast with a needle.

The woman in 30s had only early stage cancer, and did not require immediate surgery but the mix -up resulted in the younger woman being told she had advanced cancer. The patient and her family agreed to surgery, and in early December a total mastectomy of the right breast was performed.

On Dec.15, the removed portion was examined the early stage of cancer was found. The hospital performed genetic tests on the samples from the two women, which revealed the mix-up on Dec. 17

A spokesperson for the hospital said. “The woman in her 30s did not need a total mastectomy at the time of the initial needle biopsy.”

The needle biopsy in mid-October were not detected the cancer cells in the older women due to sample mix-up. later that month another needle biopsy was performed, which confirmed the presence of breast cancer.

The hospital said the mix-up likely occurred during the sample collection process. An investigative commission that includes outside experts was established on Dec. 18 to discover what happened.

The hospital is also considering compensating the woman in her 30s.

Nagoya University Prof. Yoshimasa Nagao, a specialist in medical safety, called for a thorough investigation into where and why the mistake happened.

“The sample management process is complicated and the risk of an accident is high. There should have been countermeasures in place, but they may not have been followed thoroughly,” Nagao said.

Her biopsy reports had been mixed with someone else.

“The Chiba Cancer Center just conducted an investigation into its problems with laparoscopic surgeries. It’s important for them to fulfil their responsibility to explain [the incident] by releasing information. This could help other hospitals take notice,” he added.

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