Cancer patient claims doctor delayed diagnosis

A Calgary man says his doctor knew he had cancer, but didn’t tell him until three months later.

In 2010, Emmanuel Alonce thought he was getting treated for a simple sinus infection.

But when the anti-biotics didn't work, he knew there was a bigger problem.

"I missed something. I said what did you miss? He could not answer me,” Alonce said. “He just watched me go, he said we're going to call you back."

Alonce had cancer, and says he says his doctor knew for three months.

Last summer Alonce filed an official complaint with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta.

In a report, the College's findings back up Alonce's allegations saying in this case, the doctor was not in compliance with the College's standard of practice.

And in the report, the doctor did respond writing :”I am very sorry that all systems failed Mr. Alonce. I wish him the very best, and I sincerely hope he remains cancer-free.”

The College of Physicians and Surgeons isn't commenting on this case, because it says it's likely that it won't go to a disciplinary hearing.

For his part, in the report the doctor says he's made three key changes to the way his office operates as a result of this case.

He says all incoming lab and pathology results are now stamped on the day they're received.

He says if significant pathology is received, the patient is immediately informed.

He also says he's improved correspondence in his office through a voice recognition system and that he and his assistant both review all letters dictated into his electronic medical record, which are then passed on to receiving physicians in a timely fashion.

But despite these changes, Emmanuel Alonce says it doesn't change the fact he feels all of this could have been avoided.

"I consider negligence — criminal because it can kill my life,” Alonce said. “Even today I'm talking to you, I don't have no life — I don't have no future."

Alonce has been cancer-free for a year, but just today he saw a physician because of an aching knee.

Now, he's worried the cancer may be back and will know more following a blood test on Thursday.

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