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Why is cancer often misdiagnosed?

| Jul 24, 2018 | Failure to Diagnose

A cancer misdiagnosis, whether positive or negative, is a serious issue for New York medical providers. Telling someone they have cancer when they do not can lead to unneeded stress and medical procedures. Not diagnosing cancer in a patient can be even more serious. If you are misdiagnosed and you really do have cancer, it can allow time for the cancer to grow and spread, making it more difficult to treat. You may wonder why cancer is misdiagnosed and if it happens often.

According to ABC News, cancer misdiagnosis is common, and the issue often lies in the lab. Misreading samples in the lab leads to incorrectly identifying the presence of cancer. Mislabeling is also an issue. The people responsible for the actual diagnosis are likely someone you will never meet, so that person is basing his or her diagnosis only on what he or she sees under the microscope.

Besides missing a cancer diagnosis or seeing cancer where there is none, misdiagnosis can also include mistakes in the type of cancer. This is a serious issue because the type of cancer determines the method and plan for treatment.

Such misdiagnosis often occurs due to the person being not trained properly. A pathologist in the lab needs to be knowledgeable enough to recognize cancer cells and know how to identify them specifically to determine important information about the cancer. Another issue is not having the right technology. Some types of cancer require specific equipment for a proper diagnosis.

Due to misdiagnosis issues, it is always a good idea to get at least two opinions before moving forward with treatment or before accepting a clean bill of health, especially if you feel something is wrong. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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