When you visit a doctor because you’re not feeling well, you hope that they’ll pinpoint the problem and provide a treatment plan for getting you back on your feet.
While this happens most the time, you shouldn’t assume this will always be the case. Misdiagnosis remains a major problem both for patients and the medical industry as a whole.
Here are three conditions that are commonly misdiagnosed:
- Cancer: When cancer is misdiagnosed as a less serious disease, it gives it time to spread to other parts of the body. Subsequently, it lessens your survival rate. The most commonly misdiagnosed types of cancer include colorectal, breast and lung.
- Heart attack: Heart attack symptoms can vary from person to person, thus making an accurate diagnosis difficult at times. The symptoms associated with a heart attack are shared with less serious ailments, such as the flu and common cold.
- Stroke: There are times when the symptoms of a stroke come on immediately. There are also times when these symptoms appear over a longer period of time. With a slow onset stroke, symptoms will begin to exhibit over the course of several hours or days. This makes it more difficult for a doctor to make a correct and timely diagnosis.
How can you protect yourself?
There is no guaranteed way to protect against misdiagnosis, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself:
- Share all your symptoms with your doctor, providing as much information as possible
- Be honest with your doctor about what you’re experiencing
- Request that your doctor follows up on all abnormal test results, such as lab work and scans
- Don’t hesitate to receive a second opinion
- If something doesn’t feel right, continue to search for answers until you receive an accurate diagnosis
If you were the victim of a medical misdiagnosis, find a doctor you can trust to provide you with the right treatment in the future. As time allows, learn more about what went wrong with your original provider.
The information you collect will help you better understand your situation, which may lead you to seek compensation from the negligent medical professional.
Visit our website for more information on all facets of misdiagnosis.