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Portland Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Lives taken by common types of cancer in the U.S.

Every year, many people pass away from cancer, which is often cited as the second-leading cause of death in the United States. Even as medical science gets better and better, this disease is still a serious danger to people of all ages.

To see the impact this has on the U.S. population, here are some of the statistics about how many people pass away every year from various types of cancer (deaths are estimated for 2019):

  • Bladder cancer: 17,670
  • Female breast cancer: 41,760
  • Male breast cancer: 500
  • Rectal and colon cancer: 51,020
  • Endometrial cancer: 12,160
  • Kidney cancer: 14,770
  • Leukemia: 22,840
  • Intrahepatic bile duct cancer and liver cancer: 31,780
  • Lung cancer: 142,670
  • Melanoma (skin cancer): 7,230
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: 19,970
  • Pancreatic cancer: 45,750
  • Prostate cancer: 31,620
  • Thyroid cancer: 2,170

Google AI finds breast cancer that doctors miss

You know that detecting breast cancer as early as possible is often the key to treatment and higher survival rates. So, who should you have examine those scans to see if you have cancer or not? You may assume it should be your doctor, but new studies have found that Google AI actually does a better job. It detects cancer more often than even trained human medical professionals.

That's not to say that the AI runs the tests itself. But, after the mammogram is carried out, someone has to examine the scans to see if there is evidence of cancer. This is a very common screening tactic. And, even when doctors sometimes overlook cancer, the AI tends to find it in those scans.

Don't say these things to your doctor

Avoiding mistakes in many areas of life involves communication. It's so critical. You have to communicate effectively, and make sure everyone is on the same page.

This is definitely true when you talk to your doctor. That exchange of information is the key to proper treatment. With that in mind, here are a few things you should not say to your doctor:

  • Do not downplay your symptoms. Do not lie. Do not be anything other than 100% truthful. You don't need to be "tough" for your doctor and act like the pain isn't that bad. Tell them the whole truth to get proper help.
  • Do not lie about lifestyle choices. Your doctor isn't there to judge you for drinking or smoking. They just need to know so that they can understand how to treat you.
  • Do not complain about your last doctor. It's fine to mention why you're getting a second opinion, but too much drama and complaining just makes the new doctor apprehensive.
  • Do not get too caught up in something you learned online. Doctors don't mind that patients want to learn, but it's frustrating for them when a patient trusts some internet source more than the actual doctor.
  • Do not save your biggest concerns for the end of the appointment. Start with them. Give your doctor as much information as you can and give them time to start sorting it out. Remember that symptoms are often connected.

Doctors need enough sleep

When you're tired, you make more mistakes. It's true in everything you do. Drowsy driving leads to car accidents. Feeling too tired when taking an exam in college leads to more wrong answers. How many times have you made an error while exhausted that you never would have made otherwise? It happens to all of us.

For doctors, it's a serious issue. An exhausted doctor who just worked 24 hours or more in a row could make mistakes that impact your health for the rest of your life. That's not a risk you should ever have to take, but it does happen.

Your gut feeling about your health could be right

Not feeling your best, you go to the doctor. You don't know what's wrong, but you know that something is, and you trust your doctor to figure it out. That's what they have always done in the past.

They're not sure when they talk to you, and so they run some tests. Maybe they do bloodwork. You get the lab results back. Nothing looks like it's wrong. They tell you that you have a clean bill of health. Maybe they suggest it's all in your head.

Cancer fatigue is very real

Cancer impacts people in very different ways, but one thing that many people experience is known as cancer fatigue. It can happen even when the cancer is being treated properly, and it generally leaves you feeling exhausted, weak and tired.

The problem is that medical professionals do not always treat this fatigue properly. Experts at the Mayo Clinic warn that "the exact causes of cancer fatigue and how best to treat it aren't always clear." This can lead to mistakes and oversights that can be very problematic for you.

A child's death is the most difficult event in a person's life

It's one thing to look at statistics about childhood fatalities or to consider the reasons why a child may pass away during birth or in the hospital after birth. It is quite another to really think about the trauma that this presents for the parents and how their lives will never be the same.

Therapists point out that it's one of the most traumatic events that any parent can go through. They even say that it can "fundamentally change" who the parents are after the event.

How do doctors treat a brain tumor?

You begin having headaches. It goes on for a while and seems far too chronic to be something like dehydration. Eventually, doctors discover that you have a brain tumor.

They advise you to get treatment right away, and you agree with them. What you're wondering is what type of treatment they will use.

What is the most common type of cancer?

You hear a lot about breast cancer during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You know that exposure to radiation can lead to cancer, which is why your dentist steps out of the room during x-rays. You understand that lung cancer is very serious, and you see warnings about it on every pack of cigarettes.

But what is the most common type of cancer? Is it one of these?

Nurses cannot ignore call buttons

Hospital residents often use call buttons to get the attention of the nurses, alerting them to the fact that they need extra assistance at the moment. In theory, these are only supposed to be used in emergencies, when people quickly need help with things they cannot do on their own.

However, some nurses feel like the residents overuse these buttons. This can be very frustrating for them as the same patients keep calling them back over and over. Being a nurse is already a stressful job, and this practice only makes the stress worse.

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