When you are facing a possible diagnosis of cancer, you may fear for your health and future, as well as the futures of your loved ones. So, being told, “It’s not cancer,” can be a relief or even a joy to hear. Unfortunately, this joy can be shattered in an instant when your health continues to decline, and upon seeking a second opinion, you find out you do indeed have cancer.
Why do misdiagnoses of cancer happen?
A cancer misdiagnosis can occur for a number of reasons. You may have a rare form of cancer that your physician does not pay attention to or that your physician does not know how to diagnose. In addition, misreading x-rays or errors made in the examination of a biopsy can lead to a misdiagnosis of cancer as being a more benign condition.
Why is getting a second opinion so important?
If you are suspected of having cancer, are told you do not have it, but then your health continues to decline or you otherwise have concerns about your initial diagnosis, you may want to seek a second opinion. It is important to speak openly and bring all your concerns up to your physicians, including the physician who made the misdiagnosis. Keep copies of your medical and hospital records, including any pathology reports that were made. Sometimes you may need to get a third or even fourth opinion, to ensure your cancer is properly diagnosed and a comprehensive treatment plan can be made.
A cancer misdiagnosis can be a costly mistake
A cancer misdiagnosis can be a costly mistake. Not only is your health or even life possibly at stake, but you will have incurred medical expenses from having to pursue a correct diagnosis and then have the cancer treated. This is in addition to the physical and mental pain and suffering you endured while waiting for a correct diagnosis. For this reason, it is important to hold the physician who made the misdiagnosis accountable for his or her actions. Some people find that one way to do so is through the pursuit of a medical malpractice claim. Personal injury attorneys in the Portland area understand the seriousness of a cancer misdiagnosis and may be a useful resource.