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Cancer misdiagnosis can happen to anyone

Many Houston residents can be affected by cancer in their lifetime. Whether it is their own diagnosis or a diagnosis of a loved one, cancer affects most people. A misdiagnosis of cancer can be devastating but it happens more than some people realize.

It is believed that almost 30% of cancer is misdiagnosed. This is an alarming number for patients who face cancer diagnosis. If a patient receives the wrong treatment for their cancer, or a delay of treatment for their cancer they can face a worsened condition along with wasting precious time and money. The most common cancers that are misdiagnosed include lymphoma, breast cancer, sarcoma, and melanoma.

The reasons for misdiagnosis include missing information from medical specialists, pathology errors, and inadequate genetic information at the time of diagnosis. In order to help reduce the number of cancer misdiagnosis, doctors recommend new and improved pathology tools, better resources for tumor genetic testing, and better radiology tools.

For families facing a cancer diagnosis, knowing that almost 30% of cancer is misdiagnosed can be frightening. Families hope that the care they receive is accurate and tailored for their specific needs. When mistakes happen a worsened condition can result because they are not receiving the correct treatment. When the misdiagnosis is a result of a mistake, families may find that consulting a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice to be helpful. A medical malpractice attorney can help families with their cancer misdiagnosis and help hold medical staff accountable for their neglect.

Source: Boston Magazine, "Misdiagnosing cancer is more common than we think", Jamie Ducharme, Jan. 31, 2013

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