More possible diagnostic errors are surfacing in an external review of pathology cases at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

The review is examining 700 cases done by a pathologist who is now on leave from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, launched after two smaller reviews found errors in 10 cancer cases, where the pathologist made errors determining the severity of the disease.

Of those 10, three are now determined to be "clinically signifcant" -- where the patients' treatment will be affected.

All three patients had prostate cancer and the new information questions whether or not radiotherapy should be provided in addition to the surgery that has already been done. All three have been contacted and offered immediate appointments with their physician to discuss that option.

This larger review of 700 cases has so far looked at 289 cases, and has found possible errors in 14.

Those cases are now undergoing further review by at least two pathologists who specialize in those specific types of complex cases and three cancer specialists. The review of remaining cases is expected by the end of the month.

'What we've learned so far is not as alarming as I believe many in the public fear," said Dr. Brock Wright, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of the WRHA.

The news isn't comforting for cancer patient Tom Boomer. He believed he was cancer-free after surgery last year for prostate cancer.

"You're always thinking any day somebody's going to knock on the door and say 'Guess what? We made a mistake. You really didn't have cancer," he told CTV's Rachel Lagace. "But this is the exact opposite. Now you've got somebody who can knock on the door and say. 'Guess what? It was worse than we thought.'"

The WRHA is informing the patients involved and their doctors about the issue.

Doctors will then have to talk to their patients about possible changes in treatment. The WRHA said some patients will not require any changes despite the problems with their pathology report.

The WRHA said those patients needing treatment changes will get priority in the system.

The pathologist in question was placed on leave on March 27, and officials aren't releasing a name.

Diagnostic Services Manitoba and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority are also conducting what's called a Critical Incident Review to determine what can de done to improve the process and prevent it from happening again.

Inquiry line getting calls

WRHA has established a dedicated phone line (788-8004) to address questions and concerns from the public. 155 people have called, and the WRHA says all of them are receiving calls back and their files are being considered for review.

The WRHA's Dr. Wright stressed that the review is being done out of an abundance of caution. "The public needs to know that when issues like this are raised, they are taken very seriously. Patient safety is always our number one concern."

With a report from CTV's Rachel Lagac�.