One of the most common reasons medical malpractice lawsuits are brought forth is because of patient misdiagnosis. This type of suit is especially disturbing because when an illness or condition is not properly diagnosed; proper treatment is not given which can be devastating. A cancer misdiagnosis can be extremely serious and may lead to death, which could have otherwise been avoided if early treatment had been administered.Do you want to learn more? Visit San Antonio Misdiagnosis Attorney
Today, the medical profession has a series of standard tests that are to be used to help detect various forms of cancer. The exact type of test that is to be used may vary somewhat depending on what type of cancer the doctor suspects. This is precisely where the problem occurs. Since there is no one test, or one set of tests that can be used to locate all forms of cancer, your doctor must adequately assess your symptoms so the proper test can be ordered. Routine cancer screenings are important for this reason; as some forms of cancer are already in advanced stages by the time symptoms occur.
Cancer misdiagnosis happen more than you may want to believe. According to a recent study conducted by Harvard University, cancer is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed diseases in the United States. When this happens, the cancer grows, spreads, and then becomes less likely to be able to be treated.
Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed forms of cancer include:
Breast Cancer: Even though there have been major advancements in the treatment of breast cancer, it still tops the list of the most commonly misdiagnosed types of cancer. This is due to the fact that it is one of the most commonly occurring types of cancer. It is estimated that as many as ten percent of all women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. Regular screenings, such as mammograms, have become an essential early detection tool. These types of screenings should be done as early as possible in order to catch the cancer in its beginning stages. The main reason that breast cancer is so commonly misdiagnosed is because physicians often do not have the proper skills to detect breast lumps, interpret test results properly, and recognize the symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer, which is a rare, but aggressive form. This type of cancer is often misdiagnosed as an infection because it does not cause lumps, only an inflammation.
Lung Cancer: It is not uncommon for lung cancer to be misdiagnosed as a much less serious condition, such as bronchitis, a respiratory infection, or COPD. Since there are no early detection tests for lung cancer it is not often detected until the late stages, which makes treatment quite difficult.
Colorectal Cancer: This form of cancer is another commonly misdiagnosed form for several reasons. In early stages, many people have no symptoms at all, making early detection screenings, such as colonoscopies, critical. Also, when symptoms are present, they are often mistaken for more minor illnesses, such as hemorrhoids or irritable bowel syndrome. Finally, colorectal cancer is somewhat embarrassing to discuss, therefore many patients delay treatment.