In Pennsylvania and across the globe, medical professionals emphasize the importance of diagnosing cancer early. This is beneficial in determining treatment options to address it. Testing is perceived as a fundamental part of catching the disease before it has a chance to do significant damage and spread. However, people can be misdiagnosed with cancer and other diseases causing a litany of other problems. Recent research highlights a form of misdiagnosis that is not frequently discussed: overdiagnosis. This can also cause injury and even death to a patient. If this medical misstep happens, it is wise to know the available options.
Researchers say prostate cancer can be more accurately diagnosed using MRI
For men, prostate cancer is the second most common form of the disease in the U.S., second only to skin cancer. Every year, around 250,000 men are diagnosed with it. Physicians emphasize getting tested when men reach a certain age. However, a challenge with many tests is a lack of accuracy. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the number of incidents in which a patient is misdiagnosed as having prostate cancer may be reduced by half if magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used instead of the current testing strategies alone.
Now, doctors test by performing a physical exam and analyzing blood tests. That, however, may not be completely accurate and unnecessary treatments might be given due to those tests. The research involved testing men from 2018 to 2021. There were 12,750 participants. They were given blood tests to see if there were signs of prostate cancer. Then, they either had an MRI or the conventional biopsy. Using MRI, needless biopsies were reduced and the number of significant tumors in the prostate were still discovered and treated.
Having professional advice can help identify misdiagnosis and subsequent errors
Misdiagnosis is not only a matter of missing signs of an illness, condition or injury. It can include treating an issue that is not there to begin with. It can also distract the physicians and medical professionals from proactively treating the real illness and potentially making it worse. People who have been negatively impacted in any way from a wrong diagnosis should know the steps to recover for medical costs, lost income, the emotional aftermath and more. For assistance with determining how to move forward, it is useful to have experienced guidance from the beginning.