'No misconduct' over delayed cancer diagnosis
on 26/09/2013 00:00:00
Yesterday a Medical Council fitness to practise committee found a breast surgeon who admitted to failing to send her for a mammogram was not guilty of professional misconduct.
The surgeon, Dr C, was cleared of all allegations.
Ms Kavanagh's sister Denise described the decision as a "personal tragedy" for her family and Siobhán's 11-year-old daughter Eva.
She described her sister as a "lover of life" who was "destroyed" by cancer.
During the hearing, the inquiry heard that Siobhan Kavanagh was examined by Dr C on Aug 29, 2007, after complaining of two lumps in her breast.
Following a physical examination and investigation using ultrasound, Dr C concluded the lumps were the result of dense tissue.
He admitted that this assessment turned out to be incorrect and said he regretted not sending Ms Kavanagh for a triple assessment, an investigation that includes a mammogram.
The inquiry was told that before her first examination, Ms Kavanagh failed to turn up for two consecutive appointments with Dr C where she was scheduled to undergo a mammogram. She failed to attend a follow up appointment Dec 2007 when a mammogram would have been available to her.
She was eventually diagnosed with breast cancer by Dr C through the use of a mammogram in June 2008 and lodged a complaint against him shortly before her death in 2012.
In delivering its ruling the committee said while Dr C's omission of a mammogram might appear incorrect in hindsight, this was not a failure to consider his patient's medical condition having regard to the prevailing conditions at the time, including the medical resources available to him.