I cannot imagine the range of emotions I might experience if I am told that I have cancer by mistake.
We have all had family and friends who have received that awful news from their doctors. Some have survived and thrived after their treatments. Some have succumbed to this dreadful disease. You may even be one of the cancer survivors who has lived through the pain and agony of first receiving this horrifying news. And then, having to go through the treatments with all of their awful side effects.
Cancer Screening Blood Test
According to an article written by Amanda Holpuch on NYTimes.com, about 4oo customers who were prescribed the Galleri Multi-Cancer Early Detection Test by their doctors were sent an erroneous form letter. This occurred between May 10-18, 2023. Grail is the company that supplies these blood test kits. PWNHealth is the vendor that Grail uses to notify customers of their test results. And they had sent out hundreds of letters with incorrect test results. Hundreds were told they had cancer by mistake.
How Did This Happen?
But, here’s where the story gets a little confusing. Officials from Grail say the test results are not incorrect. Over half of the customers who received the erroneous letters had not even had their blood drawn for the test yet. The form letters that were sent out have incorrect information due to a “software configuration issue.”
Cancer By Mistake Issue Corrected
Per Holpuch’s article, representatives from both Grail and PNWHealth say that the error was identified very quickly. Grail contacted customers by mail and by phone to alert them of the situation. PNWHealth corrected the software issue within an hour of learning about the inaccurate form letters.
Still, the emotional damage these people must be feeling after getting news like this in a form letter must be overwhelming. And then, days or weeks later, you are told it was all a big mistake due to a software issue. I am sure many are relieved to learn they do not have cancer. But they still went through all of those awful feelings when they received the news. That is gut-wrenching.
Cancer By Mistake Lawsuit?
Being told you have cancer by mistake. That would tick me off. We will see if there is any litigation claiming damages from Grail and PNWHealth in the coming weeks.
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Larry Martino is the long-time Afternoon Drive personality on 96.3 KKLZ. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of Larry Martino and not necessarily those of Beasley Media Group, LLC.