When a doctor commits a diagnostic error, such as misdiagnosis it can lead to potentially fatal consequences. Especially in the case of cancer, a misdiagnosis can mean that a patient won’t receive the treatment they need in time to save their life. Here are a few of the impacts that misdiagnosis can have on cancer.
A simple definition of misdiagnosis is a doctor failing to correctly interpret a patient’s symptoms. This can happen by not recognizing a symptom at all or not reaching the appropriate conclusion from the symptoms present. There are many symptoms of cancer such as abnormal changes in weight, or sudden pain or fatigue. However, because cancer is so prevalent, a physician should always keep that in mind when a patient experiences an unusual shift in their health. It is up to your doctor to perform their due diligence during a diagnosis and rule out all possible conditions to arrive at the correct one.
Another important step in diagnosing cancer is to know how to proceed with the right tests and evaluations. Medical testing is a critical step in correctly diagnosing cancer. If there is an error in the procedure, a malfunction in the machinery, or if a doctor incorrectly interprets a radiological film, then they might not reach the correct diagnosis at all. One of the dangerous facets of certain types of cancer is when they metastasize, which means spreading from one area of the body to another, such as breast cancer spreading to the lungs. If cancer metastasizes, the risk of fatality increases greatly if it isn’t caught as soon as possible.
The other side of a cancer misdiagnosis, is when a doctor overdiagnoses your condition by thinking that it’s cancer when it really isn’t. As you can imagine, being incorrectly diagnosed with cancer can be just as harmful as a missed diagnosis. You could undergo expensive and painful treatments, like chemotherapy, that will bring unnecessary harm to your body. Make sure that you have a medical malpractice lawyer on your side if you suspect that you received an incorrect diagnosis.
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