When people go to the doctor because of illness, they hope and expect to receive a diagnosis that will identify their illness so that they can treat it safely and properly. Proper diagnosis is essential to obtaining the best treatment options available.. But if If a misdiagnosis happens, the fallout can be devastating, especially when it happens with a potentially fatal disease like cancer.
How often is cancer misdiagnosed?
Cancer is sometimes misdiagnosed because so many of its symptoms mimic other diseases. For example, invasive breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as nothing more than breast inflammation or mastitis. Inflammatory breast cancer is sometimes also mistaken for benign conditions like fibrocystic breast disease. If you were misdiagnosed, you may have personal injury claims against the medical professional(s) who misdiagnosed you.
Pancreatic cancer, one of the most dangerous types of cancer, is sometimes misdiagnosed as an intestinal tract disease or condition like irritable bowel syndrome, inflammation of the pancreas or gallstones. Sometimes people with pancreatic cancer get diagnosed as having diabetes since the condition is one of the symptoms of this type of cancer.
Lung cancer may even be misdiagnosed because some of the symptoms of lung cancer include shortness of breath, a hoarse-sounding voice, coughing and many other symptoms that mimic respiratory illnesses. Because of this, people who are suffering from lung cancer may be told that they’re actually dealing with diseases like bronchitis or pneumonia. Some doctors may even mistakenly diagnose lung cancer as pleurisy, an inflammation of the lining inside of the chest cavity.
What are the dangers that come with misdiagnosing cancer?
When people who have cancer are misdiagnosed as having other diseases, they’re losing precious time that could have gone to treating those cancers. With cancer, the more quickly it is properly diagnosed, the better the opportunity to obtain the proper and most aggressive treatment. Misdiagnosis that results in delayed or no treatment for cancer can be devastating.
If you have been misdiagnosed, you should speak to a lawyer. GFM’s attorneys stand ready to assist and evaluate any potential claims you may have for medical malpractice.