No one Myrtle Beach wants to hear they have cancer; it can feel like a death sentence. But what may be worse is to be told you do not have cancer only to find out weeks, months or years later that you were misdiagnosed, and you do indeed have cancer. Due to the misdiagnosis, you missed out on early treatment and now the disease has progressed. How can such things happen?
How can doctors misdiagnose a disease like cancer?
Diagnosing cancer can be difficult but a competent doctor should know that some forms of cancer are trickier to spot than other forms of cancer. For example, rare forms of cancer often go overlooked and not as much attention is paid by some doctors into learning how to diagnose them. This can lead to a misdiagnosis.
However, even common cancers can be misdiagnosed. A doctor may do blood or tissue tests and fail to see cancer cells. Or they could perform an x-ray but falsely determine the worrying spot on the x-ray is an infection when it is actually cancer.
The importance of getting a second opinion
If you find out that you have been misdiagnosed and your illness is actually cancer it is important to get a second opinion. The doctor who made the misdiagnosis may not know much about the type of cancer you have or may underestimate how serious it is. The doctor who made the misdiagnosis may not specialize in the form of cancer you have, especially if it is a rare form of cancer. And, if you get a second opinion, you can learn more about all your possible treatment options.
What to do if you have been misdiagnosed with cancer
If you have been misdiagnosed with a seemingly more benign disease and later find out that your illness is cancer, there are steps you can take to advocate for yourself. Talk to all the physicians treating you even the one that made the mistake. Ask all your doctors to get together to come to an agreement about your diagnosis and get second or even third opinions if necessary. Finally, keep your own copies of your medical records, including test results and hospital records.
Learn more about your options after a cancer misdiagnosis
If advocating for yourself gets you nowhere or if the misdiagnosis cost you dearly in money, your health or time, you may want to learn more about pursuing a medical malpractice claim. This post is only meant to educate; it does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on failure to diagnose may be a good starting point for those who want to learn more about their rights and options.