Man, what is it with butt cancer nowadays? Weekly photographer/writer Andrew Youssef is documenting his battle with colon cancer for us, and I got another pal who's suffering from rectal cancer. And this morning, I learned that Westminster doctor Co Dang Long Pham was disciplined by the Medical Board of California for essentially letting a woman's rectal mass grow so much that it eventually turned into cancer–and then she died.
Over the course of four years, according to a complaint filed by the Medical Board, a Vietnamese immigrant went to Pham complaining of constipation. She had previously had two surgeries on a rectal cyst, yet Pham did not send her to a specialist or even bother to discuss the cyst with the surgeon who had previously operated on her. Pham saw the cyst get bigger and bigger; his answer to the patient's complaints? Eat a high-fiber diet–SERIOUSLY. At one point, the mass was so big that Pham noted he couldn't do a proper medical exam on her–yet he didn't refer her to a specialist.
The patient died in 2006 of colon cancer; a medical malpractice lawsuit–one of many filed against Pham over the years–was settled by the patient's family. Pham's punishment? The usual Medical Board madness–public reprimand, and a course in ethics.