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 Board Wants Local Doctor's Medical License Revoked

Mon Oct 23, 2:27 PM ET

The Medical Board of California wants to revoke the license of a Kaiser Permanente doctor whom it accuses of negligence in the care of a cancer patient, it was reported Monday.

According to the accusation filed by the board, Jesus Gaytan didn't know he had prostate cancer because his doctor, Michele Lamantia, ignored the symptoms of the cancer for years and then failed to review test results that warned of the disease, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

According to the medical board's accusation filed in Administrative Law Court, Lamantia first examined the 57-year-old Gaytan in 2000. He complained of back pain, a symptom that could have suggested prostate cancer.

Lamantia never performed a digital rectal exam, a procedure that could have signaled an abnormality of the prostate, the newspaper reported.

According to the accusation, in early 2002, Lamantia ordered a blood test that revealed an elevated level of protein symptomatic of prostate cancer. Another blood test was performed four months later, and the protein level was much higher.

Records suggest Lamantia never reviewed the tests, the newspaper reported.

Laboratory technicians did not notify Lamantia of the abnormal tests, the doctor's attorney, Russel Iungerich, told the Union-Tribune. Instead, the results were entered in Gaytan's central medical file, where records are permanently stored, he said.

In August 2002, Gaytan was referred to a specialist who diagnosed him with terminal cancer, the newspaper reported. Gaytan, who died in October 2004, and his wife settled a medical malpractice lawsuit against Lamantia.

According to the medical board's accusation, by ignoring the tests' results, Lamantia was "grossly negligent," the Union-Tribune reported.

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