To hear that you have cancer can change your life. You may experience shock and disbelief at the diagnosis. While it is normal to trust your doctor, there are situations where your doctor could make a mistake.
To hear that the doctor misdiagnosed you can be as overwhelming as the diagnosis itself. According to WebMD, sometimes the diagnosis can be worse than the original cancer.
How misdiagnosis happens
Misdiagnosis may be more common than you think when it comes to cancer. Some cancers are difficult to see. Also, some diseases may be so rare that the doctor ignores the possibility entirely. Fewer doctors train to treat and diagnose rare diseases. Mistakes happen easily when a physician has limited training.
Even with common cancers, if the doctor does not pay close attention, he or she may make an error. It can be difficult to identify a group of cancer cells. Sometimes, those who study blood and tissue may see cancer even when there is no cancer. Some conditions look like cancer. For example, lung infections might appear to be lung cancer.
What steps to take
If a doctor misdiagnosis you, it can cause serious economic strain. If you fear a misdiagnosis, your first step should be to receive a second opinion. If your doctor has uncertainties about your cancer or underestimated your cancer’s seriousness, you should visit another doctor. When you have rare diseases or your doctor has a different specialization, you should seek a physician with experience.
Do not be afraid to speak freely with your doctor. You should not worry about offending him or her by asking for a second opinion. Make sure to keep all of your medical records through a variety of appointments.