U.S. doctor who treated woman whose cancer was ‘laughed at’ says she should have been fired
Doctors at the University of Colorado Hospital are apologizing for the way they treated a patient who was told she had a “frightening” ovarian cancer.
The patient, who had never undergone surgery, was given an exam by an oncologist.
But she was told that the tumor was benign and that she had cancerous fluid in her ovaries, which could potentially be cancerous.
The doctor who performed the exam, Dr. Susanne Heberlein, told the Associated Press that she did not realize that her patient had cancer until a month later when she started seeing her oncology team, who told her that the patient had the tumor and was in a great position to go home.
Heberlein said she told her team that it was not an important diagnosis and that they should just continue with their care and treatment.
She said that she apologized to the patient for her insensitive response and that the team had a policy in place to support the patient.
She also said that the decision to continue treating her patient was made without consulting the patient, her doctors or their families.
Dr. Michael Heberlich, the medical director of the university’s gynecologic oncologic unit, told ABC News he has not heard from the patient since the incident and is not aware of any further instances of her being misdiagnosed.