Hearing you have cancer can feel like a death sentence, so when a biopsy comes back allegedly showing you are cancer free it comes as a huge relief. However, this relief is short-lived and may turn into despair if you later find out you were misdiagnosed, and you do have cancer. Facing the prospect of chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and other cancer treatments can be overwhelming and you may wonder how such a major mistake could be made in the first place.
How do cancer misdiagnoses happen?
A cancer misdiagnosis can happen for a variety of reasons. Some cancers are harder to detect than others and your physician may not have the experience or knowledge to recognize what they should have caught as cancer. The same can be said for rare types of cancers. In addition, many doctors may not investment the time it takes to learn how to diagnose certain cancers. Any of these factors can easily lead to a cancer misdiagnosis.
What are your options if you are misdiagnosed?
If you have been misdiagnosed and do have cancer you may feel like you are behind the eight ball when it comes to timely and proper treatment of the disease. However, there are some ways you can advocate for yourself. If you were misdiagnosed with cancer, you should have an honest and ongoing conversation with all your physicians, including the physician who misdiagnosed. It can help to keep a paper trail of all your medical records, test results and hospital stays. If you receive multiple diagnosis, getting a third or even fourth opinion can help clarify the situation.
While the most important thing to focus on is your health and recovery, dealing with a medical mistake can mean expensive treatments, time lost at work and pain and suffering. For this reason, some people in Pennsylvania who are misdiagnosed choose to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. Doing so may provide them with the compensation they need to make ends meet while they combat their illness.