You probably know the importance of going for regular checkups at the doctor’s office. This is often to ensure your health and test for any diseases that have developed. Cancer is a relatively common disease in which abnormal cells form, divide uncontrollably, and take over healthy body tissue. There are over 100 different types of cancers that have been identified.
The sooner you get the right diagnosis for cancer or any other type of disease or condition, the better your prognosis will be. Startlingly, research has shown that doctors commonly misdiagnose certain cancers.
Why Certain Cancers That Are Commonly Misdiagnosed
A cancer misdiagnosis often leads to a delay in proper medical treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation. Ultimately, this can increase the risk of a person dying from the disease or shorten their potential lifespan. Here are some of the types of cancers that are commonly misdiagnosed and why:
- Lymphoma. This type of cancer includes Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma and starts in the body’s lymphatic system. It includes the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus gland, and bone marrow. It’s most commonly diagnosed because symptoms—fever, fatigue, enlarged lymph nodes, and weight loss—are often associated with more common and less severe conditions.
- Breast Cancer. Misdiagnosed breast cancer or delayed breast cancer diagnosis are common reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits. In these cases, doctors may overlook precancerous cells, which delays a person’s medical treatment that may be necessary to prevent it in the first place.
- Colon Cancer. Color cancer, which develops in the colon, rectum, or bowel, is often detected by performing a colonoscopy. This procedure uses a long, flexible tube and a tiny video camera to see the inside of the colon. Doctors should try to prevent colon cancer with this procedure because it can show the beginning stages of colon cancer in the form of noncancerous tumors called polyps.
- Lung Cancer. Unfortunately, many people don’t learn they have lung cancer until it’s too late. This is often because doctors fail to take steps to detect it and may actually diagnose it as asthma, pneumonia, or bronchitis.
- Skin Cancers. Melanoma, one of the most deadly forms of skin cancer, is also one of the most commonly misdiagnosed cancers in the U.S. Doctors may dismiss suspicious skin marks, moles, or growths as benign (noncancerous). Another reason why skin cancer may be missed is because of a lab error when assessing the biopsy of the skin sample.
What To Do If You Were Misdiagnosed By Your Doctor
When negligent doctors fail to accurately diagnose a patient in a timely manner, they prevent them from getting the medical treatment that they need to overcome the disease. As soon as you get a medical diagnosis, it’s often a good idea to seek a second opinion to avoid a potential diagnostic error. Even if your doctor is competent, you know your body more than anyone.
Additionally, never hesitate to reach out to a local medical malpractice attorney if you believe you suffered harm due to a negligent medical provider. At Angel Law, P.C., our legal team is here to review the details of your case and help you pursue a potential claim, should it be determined that your doctor failed to diagnose your cancer in a timely manner.
Get started by calling (503) 862-8666 today. We offer free consultations, and our clients work directly with our head attorney, Patrick Angel, throughout the entirety of their case.