When your health is at stake, you trust your doctor to do everything possible to help you. However, misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can cause the symptoms to worsen.
Cancer is a disease that causes body cells to grow uncontrollably and can spread rapidly to other body parts. The condition may be untreatable if the diagnosis is delayed for too long. In addition, it may have spread to vital organs and cause irreversible damage.
How does a delayed cancer diagnosis happen?
Sometimes, cancer may not exhibit clear signs until it gets to advanced stages. This is because, in these stages, the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body. Unfortunately, delayed diagnosis may sometimes be unavoidable if the symptoms are more subtle.
However, at other times delayed diagnosis can be avoided. Here are some ways delayed diagnosis may happen:
- Doctor negligence: Cancer may display medically clear symptoms, but the doctor or nurses may fail to follow up with additional tests. The failure to provide appropriate tests and properly interpret symptoms can contribute to delayed diagnosis.
- Miscommunication: Healthcare professionals require a wealth of patient information to make an accurate diagnosis. This information may include family history and recent medical concerns. This information is essential in making a diagnosis due to the role of genetic predispositions.
Frequently misdiagnosed cancers
Delayed or misdiagnosed cancer means that treatment is delayed. Misdiagnosis often happens with the following types of cancer:
- Lung cancer: Many conditions that affect the normal functioning of the lungs share similar symptoms with lung cancer. Therefore, there is a likelihood of misdiagnosis.
- Breast cancer: This type of cancer is highly treatable if detected early. However, a missed or delayed diagnosis may result in more advanced cancer and a worse outlook.
- Colon cancer: Bowel diseases can cause discomfort. Usually, patients try different ineffective solutions and eventually assume relief is out of reach. In addition, doctors who fail to consider that colon cancer may be at play can allow the ailment to become much worse.
Have you suffered harm due to a delayed cancer diagnosis or misdiagnosis? The first step is to get quality medical care, but due to the escalating medical bills, you should also consider filing a medical malpractice claim.