New Mexico

Las Cruces woman on former oncologist: 'I was wasting away to nothing'

Cancer Survivor discusses her ordeal

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - A Las Cruces woman who survived stage four lung cancer that nearly killed her filed a complaint with the state after she got a second opinion radically different from the first.

Only a couple years ago, Jacquie Toth was on the brink of death. "I am wasting away to nothing. I looked horrible. I looked like a skeleton," she said.

The license of Toth's first oncologist has now been suspended. Dr. Bishnu Rauth faces eight different allegations from the medical board, including improper treatment and record keeping.

A report from the medical board states Rauth has a disciplinary history dating back to 2009 that includes a finding he created a false paper trail after telling a breast cancer patient she was fine, even though a radiologist noticed she had an irregular lesion that kept growing.

Toth said she had a total of five doctors appointments with Rauth and she feels he did not treat her cancer properly. "To this day, I cannot understand why this man did not give me chemotherapy when I literally begged for it," she said.

After seeking another physician's care, Toth immediately improved. Her new doctor told her she was "dying internally, bleeding internally to death."

Now, Toth is an online advocate for cancer patients just like herself. "I am a survivor, a fighter. I don't allow anything to define me with cancer."

The New Mexico Medical Board summarily suspended the license of Dr. Bishnu Rauth for several reasons on July 7, 2017 including "(failing) to adequately and appropriate diagnose, evaluate, monitor and treat patients."

Rauth received his license in 1991, specializing in hematology and medical oncology.

ABC-7's New Mexico Mobile Newsroom made multiple attempts to reach Rauth, including contacting his lawyer and stopping by his office.

Thursday, a receptionist at Rauth's office confirmed the oncologist was in the building, but too busy to tell his side of the story.

The medical board's report states Rauth has a disciplinary history dating back to 2009, including a finding he created a false paper trail after telling a breast cancer patient she was fine, even though a radiologist noticed she had an irregular lesion that kept growing.

ABC-7 has learned Rauth does have two hearings coming up with the New Mexico Medical Board, one at the end of August and a five-day hearing that starts at the end of September.

A spokeswoman with the medical board told ABC-7 that as a result of these hearings, there is a range of actions the state can take, including a reprimand or revoking Rauth's license altogether.

 


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