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Medical Clinic Apologizes After Accidentally Sending 'Lung Cancer Diagnosis' Texts To Thousands Of Patients

Askern Medical Practice GP Surgery in Doncaster, England accidentally told patients they had aggressive lung cancer rather than wishing them a Merry Christmas.

Askern Medical Clinic; tweet overlay from @KristelCollison
Askern Medical Clinic/Google Maps; @KristelCollison/Twitter

Text message alerts come in all forms these days: reminders for haircuts, reminders from your bank that your balance is getting low, updates from your doctor's office about your non-existent, horrible cancer diagnosis....

The last one is what happened to many patients at the Askern Medical Practice GP Surgery in Doncaster, England.

The practice was supposed to have sent out an automated text to all the patients wishing them a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

But instead some wires got crossed and they received the message below.


While many patients could infer the first text was a mistake, some were genuinely awaiting results of biopsies and therefore left upset and confused.

As one patient told the BBC, the text was quite upsetting due to this coincedence of timing.

"I had just had a mole removed and was awaiting a result from a biopsy and I had been to hospital as my smear test came back abnormal, so yes, I was very worried."

The center sent out an apology text, but what a mistake to make during the holidays.

Some folks wanted to know why a cancer diagnosis message was being sent via text in the first place.

Others pointed out it's clearly not even how a patient would receive a diagnosis, but rather communication between providers that accidentally got leaked.

This sensible take on the situation didn't stop people from a common activity in the UK.

Griping about the National Health Service (NHS).

But one person asked an interesting side question.

How long did they take to fix their mistake?

Obviously this was a huge mistake on the part of this one practice in the NHS, but hopefully all those alarmed by the initial text had their fears relieved.