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Cancer mistakes and misdiagnosis can happen to anyone. In most cases, doctors, specialists, laboratories, and pathology tests have proven to be the culprits behind cancer misdiagnosis. However, patients can also be a part of the role towards misdiagnosis.
Why cancer misdiagnosis occurs.
There are many reasons for cancer misdiagnosis, such as:
- Patient Error – Although rare, a patient can be the root to being misdiagnosed with cancer. Some reasons include failure to tell the doctor all symptoms, not completing tests ordered by the doctor, and the patient diagnosing themselves without medical analysis.
- Doctor/Specialist Error – A biased doctor bases his diagnosis on prior experience with other patients with like symptoms. If the specific cancer is rare, the doctor may overlook checking it through clinical tests. Since cancer has a wide range throughout the body, a doctor may not analyze or research it as deeply as she should. The doctor may not spend enough time with the patient and symptoms can be overlooked; the doctor doesn’t know what your symptoms may represent.
- Test Error – There have been cases of laboratory and pathology tests failing their ability to confirm or rule out factors to diseases. Human error, such as contamination, false readings, wrong samples, improper visual inspections, and poor judgment of the technician can play a part in cancer misdiagnosis.
Example cases of patients receiving cancer misdiagnosis.
At the age of 57, Jim was diagnosed with cancer. When playing sports, he became overwhelmed by feelings of sickness and pain on the left side of his body. In actuality, he suffered through the pain underneath the left rib cage before telling his doctor. After several years of complaining about the same symptom to his doctor, and two isolated urinary bleeding incidences, his doctor said he had prostate cancer. In the end, cancer was actually evident in 75 percent of his left kidney and penetrated his renal vein. The patient carries some burden for the misdiagnosis for not relaying critical symptoms earlier, as does the doctor for the decision to ignore the patient’s concerns.
ABC News reported on another misdiagnosis. Jennifer had her cancer misdiagnosis when she was 22 years old. She visited her doctor because of irregular vaginal bleeding. The doctor took blood samples for a pregnancy test. After undergoing months of chemotherapy and going through a hysterectomy, it was determined that she was misdiagnosed.
Jennifer won a $16 million dollar lawsuit by suing the hospital where she received treatment and the company who made the pregnancy test. This cancer misdiagnosis resulted from test failure and the doctor’s ignorance and greed. It was ruled the hysterectomy was unnecessary. Rasansky Law Firm is committed to being an advocate for individuals who have suffered from cancer misdiagnosis. If you feel that you are a victim of this medical malpractice, our cancer misdiagnosis lawyers have an extensive background in this area, contact our cancer mistake firm today.