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Cancer misdiagnosis is common

When a person goes to the doctor for a checkup the last thing they want to hear they have is cancer. One immediately thinks the worst when they get this bad news. But, occasionally a cancer misdiagnosis occurs which can be a medical malpractice situation and cause serious problems for a patient.

Every year, over a million people are diagnosed with cancer. Usually this cancer is diagnosed from samples that are analyzed by a pathologist. A recent study showed that one out of every 71 cancer diagnosis were actually misdiagnosed. The biopsy was actually labeled as cancer. Another 20 percent of biopsies were misclassified. The mistakes occurred more often on biopsies taken from the skin, prostate, breast and female reproductive system.

A misdiagnosed cancer diagnosis is serious. If the patient doesn't actually have cancer, they can be put through unnecessary treatments that are hard and debilitating. And if a cancer has also spread or is moving fast, not catching this can affect a patient's care. A misdiagnosed cancer can affect what treatment they receive and whether it is appropriate for their situation. A person who has received a cancer diagnosis may want to seek out a second opinion from a pathologist who specializes in cancer.

If a patient believes their cancer was misdiagnosed they may want to speak with an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice. An attorney has the experience a patient and his family need in order to navigate the complicated medical system. They can protect their patient's rights. Compensation may be available for unexpected medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.

Source: abcnews.com, "Misdiagnosed cancer not uncommon," May 8, 2017

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