Study Indicates Errors in Breast Cancer Testing in Canadian Province of Quebec

Health minister characterizes reports of 20% to 30% error rates as highly exaggerated

Questions about a possible high rate of errors in breast cancer testing done in the Canadian province of Quebec surfaced last week. Government health officials were forced to publicly acknowledge that they had received a report in April of a limited study that indicated an error rate of between 15% and 20% in hormone receptor testing, and an error rate as high as 30% in HER2/neu testing.

Following the first news reports of this situation last Thursday, Quebec health officials scrambled to respond to public concerns. In response to calls for the Health Ministry to release the full report to the public, Quebec’s Health Minister, Yves Bolduc, convened an extraordinary Sunday meeting that took place yesterday. He met with pathologists and oncologists from the province to review the details of the report on errors in breast cancer testing and determine a course of action.