**This article is provided for informational purposes only**
Did you know that there are more than 100 types of cancer? Or that breast cancer is more common in the left breast than the right? How about that naked mole rats are immune to cancer? Of course, you didn’t. But do you know who should know? Your doctor.
Not only should you trust your doctor to be well-informed on the many facets of cancer, but you should also trust your doctor to correctly diagnose you.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Studies have shown that cancer misdiagnosis is more common than you may realize. Cancer research revealed that out of 6,000 patients from across the United States, one out of every 71 cancer cases were misdiagnosed. Even more unsettling, one out of every five cases were misclassified entirely.
How Can Cancer Be Misdiagnosed?
In order to diagnose cancer, doctors need to perform a screening test. Through this, there are two main ways medical misdiagnosis generally happens: false positives and human error.
Diagnostic tests, such as CT scans, blood studies, and x-rays, can come back with a false positive for cancer. A wide range of reasons can cause this to occur, including when lab specimens are mishandled, rare antibodies are in the patient’s blood, or certain drugs trigger an incorrect read.
Human error also accounts for a large number of cancer misdiagnosis victims. Results from screening tests are reliant upon the doctor’s interpretation, which means that they are more susceptible to mistakes. Case in point: an abnormal Pap smear may be due to an infection, or suspicious shadows on mammograms may actually be harmless cysts. Ultimately, your doctor should have the knowledge and experience to tell the difference between a real cancer diagnosis and a false alarm.
What about Financial Misdiagnosis of Cancer?
While plenty of people are misdiagnosed with cancer as a result of inexperienced doctors, sometimes it can be chalked up to an intentional mistake. The harsh reality is that there are some doctors out there who are willing to falsely diagnose their patients in order to make extra money.
By misdiagnosing cancer on purpose, the doctor receives money from the patient’s health insurance provider for cancer treatments provided. Although the patient does not have cancer, some doctors will try to capitalize on the misdiagnosis by giving them chemotherapy and radiation.
Are There Side Effects from Treatments of Misdiagnosed Cancer?
After you were misdiagnosed with cancer, your doctor most likely started you on a series of cancer treatments, all of which can cause long-lasting side effects and subsequent damage to your body. The most common side effects of misdiagnosed cancer treatment include:
- Loss of hair
- Weakness and fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Skin problems
Some of these side effects stop as soon as the treatment ends, while some may have irreversible effects on your body.
Were You Falsely Diagnosed with Cancer? You Have Legal Rights.
After a false cancer diagnosis, you have legal rights to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit in order to get back every dollar you spent on your treatment. Schedule a consultation with a New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer at Dezao Law to learn about what compensation you may be entitled to.