Breast Cancer surgeon accused of operating on women to make money

Breast Cancer surgeon accused of operating on women to make money

Leading breast cancer surgeon Dr. Ian Patterson, is on trial at Nottingham Crown Court accused of performing ‘unnecessary breast removal operations’ having found ‘ticking time bomb’ problems.

The case involves more than 20 victims who were often left ‘devastated’, according to the court hearing, by entirely ‘unnecessary operations’.

The surgeon operated on private patients at his Spire Healthcare practice, having previously been employed by Heart of England NHS Trust. The prosecutor, Julian Christopher, described Patterson as ‘extremely experienced and knowledgeable in his field’. But added that medical professionals often disagreed on the correct course of action.

Patterson, allegedly, misrepresented test results to patients and would tell them that there was a residual risk of cancer returning, and so charged them for repeated check-ups.

It was alleged that by lying to patients, they could live for many years in complete fear. Patterson has denied all charges.

Chris Woollams, founder of CANCERactive and himself a former Oxford University Biochemist said, “It is not my desire to comment on the detail of the case. I am more concerned with the flawed system that makes this possibility all too easy. For example, I have talked to women with early stage DCIS breast cancer who were actually ‘cured’ by vitamin D, magnesium and fish oils. They actually did not have breast cancer, but calcium deposits in their ducts. Calcium deposits that can be shifted quite easily. But surgery and even chemo had been planned for these women by perfectly respectable doctors.

Then there is ’Triple Negative Breast Cancer’. Three women who came to us, simply did not have breast cancer at all. No treatment yet 4-5 years on, they are still ‘all clear’.

It is a research fact that 35 per cent of breast cancer diagnosis by mammograms is a false positive; yet even so women can have surgery, and standard FEC-T chemotherapy, and then they are ‘cured’, even though they went through the fear, and the side-effects. Again, they were treated by perfectly respectable doctors.

Mammaprint research in Belgium has shown that 15 per cent of women given FEC-T do not even need it. A complete waste, with patient trauma and body damage the result.

So where do you draw the line? Dr. Patterson may or may not be guilty of lies and so on. But, the approach he took, for example, warning women that their cancer may well return, recommending treatment that might be unnecessary and so on, is not rare. ’Fear’ and even ‘threats’ are two words patients use when describing their experiences at large, quality UK hospitals – we have e mails to back this up.

There is clearly a spectrum of professionalism and ability with incredibly honest professionals working in teams at the top end. But, you should try listening to many of the women who come to talk to us, at CANCERactive, about their cancer. They talk of seeing a different doctor every visit, lost papers, confusion, being told different things by different doctors, rudeness, hurried 10 minute meetings where no one can be bothered to explain anything, standard practice of biopsy, then surgery, then FEC-T, threats and refusal to treat if someone starts questioning a therapy, then ….

This is not personalised treatment. It is not tailored. The majority of women feel ignored, herded, treated without discussion. Of course, there are centres of excellence and doctors of excellence. But there are some dreadful things happening in Britain too. And none is likely to come to court, although some patients genuinely do wonder ‘why not? I have seen and heard about some shocking things in my 15 years at CANCERactive”.

Go To: Patients are being misled into believe their drug is going to cure them
 

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