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How common is cancer misdiagnosis?

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2017 | Firm News, Medical Malpractice |

When someone receives a diagnosis of cancer, they can probably see the rest of their life flashing before their eyes. However, not all cancers are equal and, if diagnosed correctly, on time and medical treatments are pursued accurately, then Louisiana residents diagnosed with cancer have a chance to not only survive but also thrive. But this all centers around a correct diagnosis and correct treatment plan.

The pathologist reviewing a patient’s tissue in a lab is the person making the cancer diagnosis and, based on their decision, 1.3 million people are diagnosed yearly. However, when researchers analyzed tissue samples from 6,000 cancer patients across the country, they found astonishing results-one out of every 71 cases was a cancer misdiagnosis and one in five was misclassified. That means a biopsy could end up being labeled cancerous incorrectly one in 71 times.

A cancer misdiagnosis has the potential to ruin someone’s life, whether it is a positive one or a negative one. If someone has cancer and is not diagnosed on time, it is possible that they do not receive treatment in a timely manner and it could alter the course of the rest of their life. On the other hand, if someone is misdiagnosed as having cancer when they don’t, they might end up receiving medicine or even surgery they do not need. Additionally, misjudging the type of cancer or how far along one is also affects the treatment they receive and their chances of getting better.

Even though medical professionals are also human and are capable of making mistakes, their mistakes have the ability to ruin a patient’s life rather than improve it. When their negligence has worsened one’s medical condition, it might be possible to file a medical malpractice claim.