Common Reasons Cancer Is Misdiagnosed
Inadequate resources, uninformative medical histories, ignored symptoms and misclassification may play a role in the misdiagnosis of cancer.
When doctors in the Cleveland area fail to correctly diagnose cancer, it can be detrimental for the patient. Misdiagnosis could lead to the wrong treatment option being pursued. Depending on what the diagnosis is, it may even lead to no forms of treatment being pursued.
Lack of tools
Some doctors and hospitals, states the Boston Magazine, are lacking the necessary tools needed to properly diagnose cancer. Either the tools simply are not available or are too old to be reliable. In fact, a recent study showed that 51 percent of the doctors who responded felt that new both pathology and radiology tools might help in the diagnosis of cancer.
Not enough history
A lack of technology is not always to be blamed. Sometimes doctors simply do not get enough patient history to properly diagnose cancer. According to CBS News, a chronological and detailed history may play an important role in a diagnosis.
Why do patients not give a thorough history? Embarrassment may play a role in some cases, but time constraint could be an issue too. Patients need enough time to give their medical history, which does not happen that often because of the doctor’s busy schedule.
At other times, according to The New York Times, symptoms are ignored. Perhaps a doctor dismisses obvious symptoms because of a patient’s age or lifestyle. For example, there are doctors who operate under the idea that cancer is for old people, so young people are, unfortunately, misdiagnosed.
Other times, patients may even be to blame for ignoring symptoms. Some people label certain pain as a part of getting older, so they do not see the need to talk about the symptom with their physician. Others may simply take certain twinges in stride, and not remember to tell their doctor.
Even when cancer is properly spotted, it does not necessarily mean that the doctor will classify it correctly. According to ABC News, a recent study showed that, of the cases being studied, one out of five was misclassified. The classification, which dictates the type and severity of the cancer, is what helps doctors set the treatment plan.
There are a myriad of radiation and surgical options available to cancer patients, and they all work best in specific situations. For example, a patient with bladder cancer may be able to have the affected organ removed, but a patient with cancer across multiple organs may be better served with radiation.
A misdiagnosis of cancer in Ohio could reduce a patient’s chances of making a full recovery. When misdiagnosis and other medical malpractice takes place, a knowledgeable attorney may be able to help the patient and his or her family make sense of the situation.