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A false cancer diagnosis can lead to needless treatment

| Dec 30, 2020 | Medical Malpractice |

Negligent misdiagnosis by a Harrisburg-area doctor can have two types of serious consequences. First, the patient’s actual condition goes untreated, possibly getting worse. Secondly, the treatment for the condition the patient was misdiagnosed with can be painful, difficult — and a waste of time.

For instance, if your doctor diagnoses you with cancer, you likely will be frightened. Not just about the possibility of death, but about the possibly grueling courses of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy that you may have to undergo. Most people trust their doctor that the cancer treatments they prescribe are necessary. But imagine finding out that you experienced severe side effects from two years of cancer treatment when you never had cancer at all.

Nearly two years of cancer treatment, then a shocking revelation

That’s what happened to a British woman whose doctors told her in 2017 that she had a rare form of bone marrow cancer that would require her to undergo regular chemotherapy for the rest of her life. The treatments left her feeling sick and out of energy, and she had to quit her job. Among the other side effects of her treatment were chronic nausea, dizziness, aching bones and receding gums.

The treatment did not improve her original symptoms, so her doctors referred her to specialists at another hospital. There, doctors told her that they suspected she did not have cancer. Two months later, a bone marrow biopsy and ultrasound of the woman’s spleen confirmed the misdiagnosis. She believes that if her original doctors had performed those tests in the first place, they would have known she did not have cancer and not had her undergo chemotherapy.

Besides possible side effects from medication that may not help you get better, a misdiagnosis can disrupt your life, affecting your career and ability to perform daily activities. You can seek compensation for these damages with the help of a medical malpractice attorney.