A Florida doctor ordered radiation therapy for breast cancer. He got the wrong breast

A Fort Myers doctor supervised over a month of radiation therapy to treat breast cancer on a woman’s left side.

But, the cancer was on the right side.

For his mistake, Dr. Constantine Mantz will pay a $5,000 fine and the Florida Department of Health’s $3,929 of investigative costs. Mantz will also have to take a 5-hour continuing medical education course in risk management and give a one-hour lecture on wrong site procedures to a medical facility’s staff.

The final order from the state Board of Medicine, approving the above settled upon punishment, posted Friday. It’s the first Florida action against Mantz, who became licensed in Florida on July 27, 2000. That same year, he joined GenesisCare, where he’s the Chief Policy Officer and Chief Physician Executive. Mantz is board certified by the American Board of Radiology.

Officially, by the settlement agreement, Mantz neither admits nor denies the description of his mistake in the Florida Department of Health’s administrative complaint. But, by the same settlement agreement, he also officially agrees that the punishment is “fair, appropriate and acceptable.”

READ MORE: Measles outbreak at a Broward school being investigated

From the right side to the wrong side

The administrative complaint says what happened concerned a 21st Century Oncology patient in her mid-50s, referred to only as “L.G.” who was in the middle of treatment for right-sided breast cancer. She’s already undergone a double mastectomy and was discussing radiation therapy with her doctor, referred to as “Physician A.F.”

On March 12, 2019, A.F. “issued a verbal order for consent for radiation therapy for L.G.’s incorrect, left side.” L.G. signed a consent for radiation therapy for the left side that day.

A.F. resigned from her position on March 15, 2019, and Mantz took over L.G.’s care. He prescribed radiation therapy for the left side, then signed a number of pre-radiation treatment reports for the left side. Treatment began.

Mantz electronically signed a Status Check on March 28, “indicating that L.G. should continue receiving treatment to her incorrect left side.” He signed another Status Check that said the same thing on April 4, along with a Physician Treatment Plan Approval “indicating that several first treatment chart checks had been completed.”

Status Checks were signed on April 11, 18 and 23. But, on April 25, Mantz told L.G. there had been a mistake. L.G. went to another doctor and facility for treatment.

“Between March 17, 2019 and April 25, 2019, [Mantz] was responsible for prescribing and the administration of radiation therapy to L.G.’s left breast when the correct site was her right breast,” the administrative complaint said in summary.