Potential Consequences of a Cancer Misdiagnosis
Posted on September 20, 2023 in Medical Malpractice
Cancer strikes fear in all of us. It can be wildly aggressive, and the treatments can be terribly difficult to endure. It can also be easily mistaken for other ailments. In fact, it is one of the most misdiagnosed medical problems.
A cancer misdiagnosis can leave the patient devastated. Sometimes, the cancer is not correctly identified, or it can be confused with another disease. This can cause the patient to miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of timely treatments, meaning the patient may experience a more serious condition or even a fatality. If you or a loved one were improperly diagnosed, contact a HER2+ misdiagnosis lawyer in Salem for legal assistance.
Consequences of Misdiagnosis
If a patient does not actually have cancer but is diagnosed with the disease, they may have had to face painful, debilitating cancer treatments. These can leave the patient fatigued and depleted.
Another negative impact that a cancer misdiagnosis might have on the patient is that the actual condition might progress and cause further health complications because it was not treated properly or at all. Sometimes, this can complicate finding the correct course of treatment for the patient’s actual condition.
Relying on Symptoms for a Diagnosis May Lead to Misdiagnosis
Many times, doctors follow the symptoms a patient is exhibiting to diagnose a disease or condition. At times, healthcare professionals are not equipped with the full knowledge of the causes of the symptoms they are experiencing. Some conditions present very similar symptoms and can lead to a misdiagnosis.
Regularly Misdiagnosed Cancers
There are a number of cancers that are commonly diagnosed improperly. Some of these cancers occur often, leading to more opportunities for misdiagnosing them. Some examples of these are discussed below:
- Ovarian cancer: The symptoms of ovarian cancer and endometriosis present identically. They cause intense pelvic pain, infertility issues, irregular periods, and digestive issues like diarrhea and constipation. Since they have the same symptoms, it commonly leads to misdiagnosis.
- Breast cancer: Breast cancer misdiagnosis is fairly common. These can be a cyst or can be inflammation, such as mastitis.
- Colorectal cancer: Colorectal cancer can be confused with inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Sometimes, colorectal cancer can even be diagnosed as hemorrhoids.
- Pancreatic cancer: The symptoms of pancreatic cancer take place in the digestive tract. Pancreatic cancer can also be mistakenly diagnosed as IBS or even gallstones. It can also be confused with diabetes.
- Lung cancer: Sometimes, the symptoms of lung cancer mimic those of respiratory infections. They have been known to be confused with pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, and tuberculosis.
Treatment Results Under Scrutiny
It is crucial that treatment is followed up with proper scrutiny to ensure that the disease or condition being treated is cleared up. Often, misdiagnosing a disease is not because the medical team was negligent but because there were issues identifying the symptoms.
Ensuring the treatment and follow-up are monitored closely can provide no further damage if the condition is misdiagnosed. Staying in close communication with your doctor and the medical professionals assisting you with your case is essential for a healthy recovery.