Misdiagnoses: The cancers that are difficult to detect

Wednesday December 30, 2020

As you may know if you’ve been misdiagnosed, it is sometimes hard to get the answers you’re looking for. If you’re unwell and talking to your medical provider, they may think they know what’s wrong and go down a path of treatments that doesn’t seem to help. They might tell you to give your treatment plan more time, but you could realize that you’re getting worse, not better.

That’s the story for many people who later find that they have an advanced stage of cancer. Cancer can be difficult to diagnose, but with the right tests, like biopsies, magnetic resonance imaging scans and bloodwork, it’s possible to see that a patient has cancer and to see which kind it is.

Failing to diagnose cancer in its early stages could result in a patient suffering serious harm or even ending up with a terminal condition.

Which cancers are the most difficult to detect?

Some of the difficult-to-detect cancers include:

  • Ovarian cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Non-small cell lung cancer

…as well as several others. These may be hard to detect for many reasons. For example, in the case of pancreatic cancer, the cancer is usually painless. Patients may not go to the doctor until the cancer has advanced significantly. In the early stages, any symptoms that do take place may mimic other conditions.

Another difficult-to-identify cancer, ovarian cancer, is hard to identify because it is very rare. Additionally, early-stage ovarian cancer rarely has symptoms, and the size and possible distention of the abdominal cavity makes it easier for the cancer to escape identification.

It’s important that medical providers take patients’ complaints seriously. Usually, all of these cancers can be identified through X-rays or other imagine scans, bloodwork or biopsies. Failing to order the right tests to identify cancer after a patient makes complaints or starts showing symptoms may be a sign of medical malpractice that the patient can then seek compensation for. Every case is different, but if a patient’s cancer spreads due to a misdiagnosis or the failure to diagnose cancer, then they may have a claim.

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