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Radiologist's misdiagnosis endangers 17

MANCHESTER, England, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- At least 17 British women's lives are at risk because a suspended radiologist wrongly told them they were clear of breast cancer, reports said Tuesday.

The unnamed doctor -- the only radiologist at Trafford General and North Manchester General in the Manchester, England, area -- was suspended last April based on co-workers' concerns about the accuracy of his diagnoses, Sky News and The Times of London reported.

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Nearly 2,500 mammograms read by the radiologist since April 2003 were rechecked, 28 of which were misdiagnosed.

In 17 cases, the delay in correcting the original cancer-free diagnosis was greater than three months, which could "significantly alter" their survival chances, health officials said.

Cancer support groups called for at least two readings of every mammogram taken in Britain.

"The acute U.K.-wide shortage of radiologists must be addressed to ensure reliable breast screening for all," Clara McKay of charity Breast Cancer Care told the newspaper.

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