When it comes to diagnosing cancer, many people have tragically been given the news – only to then discover they weren’t suffering at all. As there is such a vast amount of different cancers out there, diagnosis can sometimes be mistaken. With so many symptoms that can often be shared with other illnesses, doctors and professionals can and do get it wrong. Nowadays, cancer misdiagnosis is quite common and known to be on the rise.
What are the most commonly misdiagnosed cancers?
The most misdiagnosed cancers are believed to be the following:
Breast Cancer – With so many women being diagnosed with breast cancer, it can often easily be mistaken with other conditions due to the similarity with breast cancer symptoms. Non-cancerous cysts for example can also spark cancer fears when they are in fact benign. Breast inflammation and fibrocystic breast disease are also extremely common in women, and therefore it can sometimes be easy for a professional to get confused with what is what.
Lung Cancer – The symptoms for lung cancer usually include shortness of breath and coughing, which can easily be linked to symptoms of respiratory problems including asthma, pneumonia or even tuberculosis. Therefore it’s often difficult to know when it’s cancer, and some doctors are too quick to diagnose it out of fear.
Pancreatic Cancer – Another popular misdiagnosis is pancreatic cancer, in which symptoms can be compared to irritable bowel syndrome, gallstones and pancreatitis.
Colorectal Cancer – Due to the fact that there are a number of different types of inflammatory diseases which can occur in the bowel, these also come close to colorectal cancer symptoms. This includes conditions such as hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcerative colitis.
How to avoid misdiagnosis
If you have been told that you have cancer, and only have a specific amount of time left, then this can be quite a shock to the system – especially when it is wrong. This may lead to informing friends and family and may lead to problems at work as well as drastic lifestyle changes.
It is important therefore that you take the time to properly research your body in order to avoid being misdiagnosed. Here are some pointers to make sure you are correct about your diagnosis:
– Make sure you are aware of your medical history
As some cancers are known to be genetic, it’s extremely important you have a good understanding of you and your family’s medical history. This is especially useful when it comes to breast cancer, when it comes to the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene. can help your GP to arrive at a correct diagnosis and one which is as truly accurate.
– Ask your GP for tests
If you feel that your symptoms are not being given the attention they require by your GP, which is sometimes common, you have the right to ask for specific tests to be carried out. Some of these can be costly, however it will save you in the long run if you end up finding something as you can treat it earlier and faster.
– Get another’s opinion
If you are not fully satisfied with your diagnosis and feel there is something which still isn’t right, it is recommended to get a second opinion from another doctor or professional. Carrying out tests with different doctors is also a good idea so that you can compare each, as in some cases the error may have occurred in the lab.
It is crucial that whatever you are feeling, you should ask your GP everything in order to find out more about what it could possibly be. This will help you to arrive at the best decision about what steps to take next and in terms of treatment, what will work best for you.
What if I have already been misdiagnosed?
If you are on the other end of the spectrum, and have already been misdiagnosed, then it is extremely important you seek the right help to do something about it. Seeking help from expert injury solicitors who can understand how important this situation is, and who are prepared to help you all the way are recommended, so that you can get the compensation you deserve. Never sit in silence about a situation as important as this, as you can get help when you need it most.