How can you handle a cancer misdiagnosis?

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2021 | Medical Malpractice |

Being told by your doctor that you have cancer can be devastating. In Georgia, you expect that your diagnosis is correct, but your world can feel as though it’s crumbling when you discover that you were misdiagnosed. It can be difficult to grasp the situation and deal with it. Here is how to handle a cancer misdiagnosis.

How does a cancer misdiagnosis occur?

Sadly, some types of cancer are easily misdiagnosed due to being difficult to spot. This might occur because the cancer is extremely small or very rare. In the case of the latter, some doctors aren’t familiar with certain types of cancer due to their rarity, which means doctors might not be able to effectively diagnose them.

Sometimes, cancer is misdiagnosed simply due to errors. When that happens, a person may have cause to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Even with common types of cancer, it can be difficult to diagnose a patient. Something might appear to be cancer but end up not being cancerous after all. For example, some infections may look like lung cancer in an X-ray. Regardless of whether you actually have cancer, a misdiagnosis can lead to significant emotional and financial stress. If you do have cancer but were misdiagnosed, precious time can be lost when you could have had treatment.

What if you are misdiagnosed?

If you are told that you have a cancer misdiagnosis, you need to take immediate action and get a second opinion. The following are reasons to get a second opinion:

  • The doctor isn’t sure what type of cancer you have or how far gone it is.
  • You believe the doctor is underestimating the severity of the cancer.
  • You have a rare form of cancer.
  • Your doctor doesn’t specialize in the type of cancer you have.
  • You believe other treatments are available elsewhere.

It’s possible that you have a medical malpractice claim. However, you should be very thorough and do the following when you have a cancer misdiagnosis:

  • Be completely frank when speaking with all doctors, including the one who misdiagnosed you.
  • Save all copies of all medical records, reports and hospital visits.
  • Ask your doctors to get together to discuss your case even if they disagree.
  • Get additional opinions, especially if you have gotten varying diagnoses.

If you have gotten a cancer misdiagnosis, time is of the essence. Act immediately and follow up to ensure that you receive the proper treatment as soon as possible.