Sunday, March 01, 2009

Cameron report not delivered, release postponed

Last Updated: Sunday, March 1, 2009 | 11:43 AM NT

The Cameron inquiry into breast cancer testing mistakes will not be released as scheduled Monday, the Newfoundland and Labrador government said Sunday.

In a statement, the Department of Health and Community Services said the commission of inquiry headed by Justice Margaret Cameron did not tender the report to government as expected on Saturday.

The government said last week it was expecting to release the report to the public on Monday.

The department said it will announce details on the "rescheduled release" later.

The statement did not indicate why the commission's final report was not delivered on Saturday.

Cameron, who sits on the appeals bench of Newfoundland Supreme Court, heard evidence between March and October last year on how almost 400 breast cancer patients got the wrong results of hormone receptor tests.

The tests are crucial in a patient's treatment, as they determine whether the antihormonal therapy Tamoxifen will be of any benefit. With many patients, Tamoxifen, though toxic, has been shown to have significant clinical benefits.

Cameron heard evidence showing that staff at the St. John's pathology lab were poorly trained to handle the complicated tests, that supervision and quality control were lax, and that officials did little or nothing when alerted to problems with the quality of the tests.

As well, Cameron focused on how officials at Eastern Health, the largest health authority in the province, and the Newfoundland and Labrador government responded to the crisis when it emerged in 2005.

Just Friday Night i was discussing the Cameron report with a family member who's involved in it. She was feeling some relief knowing that at least this part would be over for her on March 2-09. The tears,anger, and years of stress and wondering how it all could happen to her might just start making sense tomorrow. Now it looks like she will have to wait a little longer.

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