Can Kidney Cancer be Misdiagnosed as Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals and salts that form inside the bladder and can lead to incredible pain and discomfort as they pass through the urinary tract. Kidney stones are common. However, there are times when medical professionals could misdiagnose kidney cancer as kidney stones, and this could lead to significant long-term consequences. A Portland misdiagnosis lawyer can help you understand your legal options following such an incident. 

Why is Kidney Cancer Often Misdiagnosed

There are various types of kidney cancers that can affect individuals, and the most common type in adults is renal cell carcinoma. There are other less common types of kidney cancer that can occur. Younger children, according to the Mayo Clinic, are more likely to develop a type of kidney cancer referred to as Wilms’ tumor

According to the Mayo Clinic, the incidences of kidney cancer diagnoses seem to be increasing. One reason for this may not necessarily be because more people develop kidney cancer but because tests have improved to the level where we are able to make a better diagnosis.

Some of the most common symptoms of kidney cancer must be examined if we want to look at why this is a commonly diagnosed type of cancer. These symptoms include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain in the back four along the side that does not go away
  • Unexplained weight loss and a loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

Kidney cancer is difficult to diagnose because many of the symptoms associated with kidney cancer either do not become apparent until the disease has progressed to a detrimental point or the symptoms are closely aligned with other types of more common ailments. This can include a diagnosis of kidney stones as opposed to kidney cancer.

Not every misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis is necessarily going to be a case of medical malpractice. However, there are times when medical professionals fail to uphold the standard of care for their patients. If medical professionals fail to address the patient’s symptoms properly by ordering tests necessary to rule out a dangerous cancer, this could be considered malpractice.

When a medical professional misdiagnoses kidney cancer as something else, this prevents the patient from receiving the treatment they need for the cancer. Delayed treatment of cancer increases the risk of the cancer metastasizing, or spreading to other areas of the body.

Studies show that around two-thirds of individuals diagnosed with kidney cancer receive their diagnosis when the cancer is only located in the kidney, and individuals who receive their diagnosis before the cancer metastasizes have a survival rate of approximately 93%. This highlights the importance of a correct and early diagnosis.

Can a Victim Recover Compensation for a Misdiagnosis?

Recovering compensation after a cancer misdiagnosis can be a difficult process. The reality is that proving that a medical professional failed to uphold the standard of care for a patient can be incredibly challenging. It is essential to contact a skilled Portland medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can examine the facts of the case and enlist assistance from trusted medical professionals to examine the best steps forward for your particular case.

Various types of compensation may be available for those who have legitimately been misdiagnosed as a result of medical malpractice. This compensation revolves around the losses the patient sustains as a result of the misdiagnosis. This includes compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and more.