Very frequently we are told that most cancer patents present late when the disease is too advanced to be cured. However, recently, I met a woman in her late 50's who had been undergoing routine annual medical checks including screening for cancer of the cervix using conventional methods and had a clean bill of health as recent as October 2015. But here she was now with advanced cancer of the cervix.
From her recollection, she had been having early symptoms over the last 3 years, however, she always got reassured that all was well after testing in one of the high-end city hospitals by one of the renowned experts in that specialty.
While being diagnosed with cancer is a dreaded and anxiety producing event, learning that you or a loved one is in an advanced stage of cancer due to diagnostic error can be devastating. Most forms of cancer respond to treatment if they are detected in the early stages. Early detection can mean the difference between survival and death. Due to medical malpractice, cancer is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, costing cancer patients precious time and often leading to death or permanent injury.How and Why Cancer is misdiagnosed?
A suspicion of cancer may come up through a routine physical examination, due to results of cancer screening testing or other laboratory tests, or because of symptoms which you bring to your doctor’s attention. It is not patient’s responsibility to know that the symptoms may indicate cancer. That is the duty of a doctor. Cancer can be overlooked or misdiagnosed in many ways including:
Failure to perform a thorough and complete physical examination, take a careful and detailed history; to adequately follow up or communicate with the patient; to recognize early warning signs and symptoms; to recommend or offer cancer screening; to recommend tests due to financial concerns; Improper performance or interpretation of radio logical or laboratory testing; Failure to refer to appropriate specialists and Communication errors between doctors and medical facilities
Being diagnosed with cancer is never anything short of a devastating experience. Your whole world seems to come to a sudden halt, and a million thoughts and questions naturally begin to race through your mind like: why didn’t my doctor figure this out sooner? Why have we wasted valuable time? Why didn’t they listen to what I had to say?
How could they have not even recognized it when the blood tests and imaging tests were initially performed? The fear that you had initially felt while sitting in the doctor’s office that horrible day soon manifests into anger and frustration towards your doctor.
One important thing that you must continue to remind yourself, though, is the fact that your doctor did not give you cancer. Mistakes do happen. Doctors are only humanTake a fertility test today